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New GISAXS option on Empyrean

PANalytical demonstrates GISAXS applications on the Empyrean multipurpose XRD platform

At the Denver X-ray Conference (5–9th August 2013) PANalytical showcases results from its new lab-based GISAXS option on the Empyrean multipurpose XRD platform.

GISAXS (Grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering) is a surface sensitive method for investigating nanostructure in thin films. GISAXS data provide information about nanostructure dimensions, distributions and structural ordering in thin films. Thin film nanomaterials are an active research area in energy technologies, photovoltaic materials, semiconductor devices, photonics, acoustics and catalysis, to name a few.

GISAXS was once considered a method exclusive to synchrotron beam lines, and made its way towards dedicated laboratory instruments. Now the Medipix2 detector with photon-counting technology enables PANalytical’s PIXcel3D area detector to collect noise-free images, making good use of lab source intensities to obtain high quality images on a multi-purpose diffractometer. With two dimensional collimation of the incident X-ray beam, the new GISAXS option offers true 2D GISAXS measurement. Furthermore, at 55 microns, the uniquely small pixel size of the detector enables 2D GISAXS data with excellent sharpness to be obtained on a standard radius XRD system.

GISAXS on the Empyrean is accessible and user-friendly. The addition of the new GISAXS option on this multi-purpose instrument is both cost-effective and convenient.


Figure 1. 2D GISAXS scattering image obtained on the Empyrean, one of several 2D images displayed at Denver 2013. The sample is a thin film of mesoporous amorphous SiO2 supported on a Si wafer substrate. The regular GISAXS scattering pattern in the image shows the reciprocal lattice structure arising from long range alignment and hexagonal close packing of the mesopores (Sample courtesy of M. Morris, UCC, Ireland).

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