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Anton Paar finds continued SAXsess.

X-ray scattering is one of the most effective methods for determining the structure of materials on the nanoscale. Scattering is favored because it can reveal both the structure and chemical composition of solids or liquids without destroying the sample.

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Small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) is a widely used variation of this technique that fires a monochromatic beam through a sample. Most of the x-rays pass through the sample, but some x-rays scatter as they encounter inhomogeneities in the material. An x-ray detector, typically situated at a perpendicular angle from the sample, reads these deflection patterns, producing a signature that can be processed.

For porous materials, SAXS is especially useful because x-rays are scattered as they pass through interfaces of domains within the sample. These domains can be solid, another type of liquid, or even a gas within the sample. Because the scattering behavior of nano-sized particles and domains (1 to 100 nm in size) trend toward small angles, these can be differentiated from scattering that occurs from atoms and interatomic distances (less than 1 nm), which produce relatively wide angles of scatter.

Anton Paar, Ashland, Va., made its name in x-ray-based scientific instrumentation in the 1950s after chemist Otto Kratky invented his Gratky camera, which used the principles of SAXS. Since 2003, the company has sold their small-angle x-ray scattering instrument as the SAXSess. In the [mc.sup.2], the most recent update of this line, the SAXS pattern offers a picture of the nanostructure and nanodomain orientation (1 to 100 nm) while the wide-angle scattering (WAXS) pattern, obtained using x-ray diffraction analysis, illustrates the phase state and crystal symmetry of the sample.

The SAXSess [mc.sup.2] can analyze domains from 1 to 200 nm and can conduct these analyses in real time, which can prove valuable in process monitoring. It can monitor rapid internal materials changes, such as molecular self-assembly. Researchers can gain further information on temperature effects and relative humidity with the use of add-on modules; multiple x-ray source and double beamline options expand the instrument's scope.

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Publication:R & D
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2011
Words:341
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