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Small angle X-ray scattering instruments
Other instruments and services

Small angle X-ray scattering instruments

Two small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) instruments, a Bruker and a Hecus SAXS  have been installed in the guide hall at OPAL. The SAXS instruments are equipped with Cu Kα sources and pinhole collimation. SAXS is complimentary to Small Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) which is available on the new QUOKKA instrument at the OPAL reactor. A variety of sample environments are available for solids and liquids, including temperature control units, GISAXS attachments, and flow through capillary designs. The instruments are capable of being run in various separate configurations which can be optimised for individual experiments.

SAXS is used to study any materials with structure of the length scale 1-100nm. The performance of many advanced materials is crucially dependent on nanostructure, and SAXS can be used to study this. It can be used for study of density variations, colloidal sizes, particles sizes, porosity, domain sizes, orientation, phase identification, the list is endless. With research being directed more towards nano-sized science, SAXS is becoming a widely-used tool.

Technical Information


Bruker SAXS

  • Rotating Anode Cu Kα source (1.541 Å)
  • Montel optics 
  • 3 pinhole collimation 
  • Large multifunctional sample chamber 
  • Sample temperature control from -10°C to 95°C or ambient to 300°C 
  • VANTEC2000 2D detector with 68µm resolution – 2048 by 2048 pixels
  • Capability of two configurations: high resolution or high intensity. 
  • Qmin = 0.006 Å-1 (high resolution) or 0.01 Å-1 (high intensity) 
  • Qmax = 0.22 Å-1 (high resolution) or 0.35 Å-1 (high intensity)

 *Please note: the high resolution configuration is not presently available pending acquisition of scatterless pinholes (plan FY2016).

Hecus SAXS

  • Microfocus Cu Kα source (1.541 Å) 
  • Multilayer focussing mirror
  • Pinhole collimation
  • Simultaneous SAXS and WAXS
  • Sample temperature control from -20oC to 120oC
  • Linear 1D PSD or 2D CCD detection
  • GISAXS attachment available 
  • SAXS: Qmin = 0.005 Å-1; Qmax = 0.60 Å-1
  • WAXS: 2θ = 18° - 26° (or d-spacing= 4.9-3.3Å)

    Sample environments

3 position sample changer, with temperature control for SAXS 

Instrument Scientist

Dr Robert Knott