Think big, look small, and vice versa

Small Angle Scatterers know, if you want to investigate small things (like proto-particles in nucleation studies) you look at big angles, and if you want to investigate large things (like membrane proteins) you look at small angles. But as a materials scientist you don’t really have the luxury of working with either “small” or “large”. More often than not your materials contain both large and small, and so you will want to look at both.

Q-range the manual way

Ten to twenty years ago this need was addressed, by making SAXS systems with segmented pipes that could easily be added or removed. That way, the researcher could readily disassemble the system, change the number of pipes, reassemble it and realign it.  The process would never take more than 30 minutes for our trained personnel. Certainly not anything that should keep the researchers from examining their samples in the relevant q-ranges.  Or so we thought… but as the years went on we saw, again and again, that researchers and students were NOT changing detector distance nearly as often as they should.

Q-range the SAXSLAB way

So… in 2009, when we had the opportunity to develop our own new SAXS/WAXS platform for Kell Mortensen in Copenhagen, we decided to make a continuously moving detector the cornerstone of all of our future materials science systems.

Since then every system we have delivered has had this tremendous SAXS/WAXS behavior built-in, easily accessing scattering angles corresponding to sizes from 2.5 A to 2500 A, all in less than a minute!

Intensity the SAXSLAB way

We think that this is pretty cool, but what is even cooler is that since the system is completely motorized you can match your resolution to your q-range and gain up to a factor of 50 in intensity when going from high resolution to low resolution. And finally since the detector covers a large part of all 4 scattering quadrants when measuring, you get a tremendously higher efficiency, than if you were measuring with a small dedicated secondary detector in WAXS.

Curve splicing the SAXSLAB way

And then maybe the coolest thing of all…because the instrument measures the scattering in absolute values, the curves obtained at different detector locations just overlap with no effort on your part. No curve splicing needed!