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Simultaneous SAXS/SANS method: A novel nanoanalytical tool

Figure 1. a) Photograph of the SAXS instrument installed at D22 instrument (ILL) for simultaneous SAXS/SANS experiments, b) Sample at an angle of 45° relative to both orthogonal neutron and X-ray beams. The red and yellow arrows indicate the directions of X-ray and neutron beams, respectively.

For the first time, both X-ray and neutron beams meet at the same sample volume enabling unprecedented investigations of nanomaterials using small angle scattering (SAS) techniques.  A portable small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) instrument with a proper geometrical dimension was successfully designed, constructed and implemented at D22 zone of Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) in France for simultaneous SAXS/SANS experiments. The newly established nano-analytical method at ILL will open the way for real time investigations of a wide range of innovative nanomaterials and will enable comprehensive in situ studies on biological systems. Compared with an independent experimental approach, the simultaneous SAXS/SANS experimental approach ensures the exactness of the probed samples, especially for time-resolved studies. For instance, the SAXS/SANS experimental setup will indispensably permit to analyse and understand the complicated correlated nanostructures of two types of nanoscale components simultaneously upon the influence of an external stimulus at different instances in time, using two contrast situations of X-ray and neutron beams. An experiment has been conducted to demonstrate a proof of concept analysis of the temporal structural cross-correlation between organic stabilizing agent (cetyltrimethylammonium bromide; CTAB micelles) and gold seeds, which cooperate in the formation of different size/shape of large stabilized gold nanorods during a synthesis process [1].

 

[1] E. Metwalli, K. Götz, S. Lages, C. Bär, T. Zech, D.M. Noll, I. Schuldes, A. Prihoda, H. Lang, J. Grasser, M. Jacques, L. Didier, A. Cyril, A. Martel, L. Porcar, T. Unruh, A novel experimental approach for nanostructure analysis: Simultaneous small angle X-ray and neutron scattering (SAXS/SANS), J. Appl. Cryst. 53 (2020), DOI: 10.1107/S1600576720005208