Total Scattering Laboratory



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Development of Experimental Tools

The multi-scale complexity of nano-structured materials requires that robust physico-chemical characterization tools be at work. Small and Wide Angle X-ray and Light Scattering techniques can be fruitfully combined to provide information at different length scales, from Å to mm. Additional advantage of these techniques is providing quantitative analysis over representative sample volumes, of huge relevance in scale-up processes. On this side, research @ To.Sca.Lab focuses on the development of frontier methods for the application of Wide Angle X-ray Total Scattering (WAXTS) Techniques and of Low and Wide Angle Light Scattering (LALS and WALS) Techniques.


Experimental Tools for WAXTS Techniques

The goal is collecting high quality WAXTS data on (typically weakly scattering) nanosized powders and colloidal solutions. Our experiments are commonly performed at the Material Science Beamline of the Swiss Light Source, X04SA-MS@SLS. Optimized experimental procedures have been developed/are under development, in collaboration with the Paul Scherrer Institute.

A Debye-Scherrer diffractometer equipped with a Mythen II single-photon counting detector enables scattering data to be collected in transmission mode over 120° in few minutes (or few hours).

Data Reduction is a strategic process aiming at subtracting capillary and air/He contributions and at properly accounting angle-dependent absorption corrections.


Four measurement steps are necessary:

* Collecting the scattering pattern on the empty glass capillary
* Collecting the scattering pattern on the sample filling the glass capillary
* Collecting the scattering pattern from the environment
* Measuring the (attenuated) incident and transmitted beams in order to estimate the sample absorption coefficient



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