Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS)


Your telescope to the Nano-universe | Dedicated Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS) with modular design for experimental flexibility


ø 14 cm
large 2D active area with the VÅNTEC-500
The large full field of view collects the whole scattering signal, isotropic or anisotropic, in a single shot.
>200 nm
accessible length scale
Modular design allows a large range of scattering coverage to fully characterize nanostructures to length scales greater than 125 nm.
5-150 cm
sample to detector distance
Wide range of detector positioning to optimize the scattering coverage to the sample.
NANOSTAR with extended secondary beam-path

The NANOSTAR with its incomparable modularity is the ideal tool for characterization of nanostructures and nanostructured surfaces by Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS), Grazing-Incidence Small-Angle X-ray Scattering (GI-SAXS), Wide-Angle X-Ray Scattering (WAXS), and Nanography. The mirror-conditioned pinhole collimation system produces a parallel, ideal circular beam shape with high intensity and low parasitic scatter. The extra-large (XL) sample chamber accommodates a variety of dedicated and 3rd party sample stages for measurements of many sample types under all conditions. Finally the scattered signal is collected with a large, low background, highly sensitive 2D detector for isotropic and anisotropic samples.


IµS micro-focus source

This unique X-ray source supplies a very stable and intense spot-focus X-ray beam without the need for water cooling. Thanks to its robust design, the source comes with a 3-year warranty. The IµS includes integrated MONTEL, state-of-the-art 2-D beam-shaping optics, for highest intensity on the sample. This side-by-side multilayer mirror design captures a large solid-angle of x-ray from the source and efficiently redirects in a highly parallel and monochromatic beam.  


XL Sample Chamber

This conveniently oversized (XL) sample chamber comes with many extra feed-through ports and can be operated under vacuum, inert gas, or atmospheric conditions. It can accommodate many additional standard components for individualized handling of multiple samples as well as 3rd party and custom stages for maximum visibility. A motorized X-Y stage with large translation range and secondary motorized reference sample holder wheel make automated sample alignment and reference and background scans a snap!  


VÅNTEC-500 2D detector

The VANTEC-500 2-D detector with MikrogapTM technology satisfies all of the ideal requirements of a dedicated SAXS system. First, no need for gas, water, or routine maintenance and no concerns for intense radiation or movement damage results in detector that is robust and very easy to use. A large active area (14 cm diameter) to enable huge angular coverage with full field of view. Incredibly low background and high maximum count rate for fantastic dynamic range and sensitivity to weakly scattering samples. Excellent spatial resolution to resolve closely spaced scattering features. No other detector can offer these combination of ideal features for these applications.  

Key Applications

NANOSTAR Applications

Small-Angle and Wide-Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS & WAXS)

Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) is a phenomenon caused by particles embedded in a matrix of different electron density. If the particle size ranges from 1 nm to 200 nm, the scattering angle lies within the range of 0° to 5°, depending on the X-ray wavelength used. The smaller the particles are, the wider are the scattering angles.

Any arrangement of particles in any medium shows a difference in electron density, which results in a specific pattern when executing a SAXS experiment. Along with the size of the particles, SAXS can also determine their shape, their distance apart and size distribution from the 2-D pattern. Particles can be dissolved macromolecules, precipitations in metals, mineral particles in biological tissues, and surfactant micelles.




In contrast to SAXS, Wide Angle X-ray Scattering (WAXS) examines structures on the Angstrom level, which are typically interplanar distances of crystalline structures. Often WAXS is used to analyze Bragg the X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern which can help determine crystalline structure, degree of crystallinity, crystallite size, and phase composition (Phase ID). WAXS data can be collected at the same time (simultaneously) as SAXS data with a 2nd detector positioned much closer to the sample.

NANOSTAR Applications

Grazing-Incidence SAXS (GI-SAXS)

To probe the surface and subsurface structural details, samples are measured in grazing incidence geometry. The incident angles are close to the so-called critical angle of total reflection and typically lie between 0.1 and 0.7 degrees. In a Grazing Incidence Small Angle X-ray Scattering (GISAXS) experiment, the diffusely scattered intensity is collected in the non-coplanar direction by means of a 2-D detector.

A dedicated GI-SAXS stage with motorized tilt is used to align the sample in the beam.

NANOSTAR Applications


A Nanography investigation utilizes the motor-driven XY stage integrated into the sample chamber of the NANOSTAR. This allows a selected region of the sample to be scanned through the X-ray beam automatically. The intensity distribution (or other scattering parameter) can then be displayed by means of a color-coded contour plot.

Nanography permits fast and selective detection of relevant measuring points with inhomogeneous samples and allows even small samples to be positioned precisely. Each individual point of the complete Nanography image itself represents the integral SAXS/WAXS intensity collected by the 2-D.

NANOSTAR Specifications




IµS micro-focus source

Air-cooled, high intensity, micro-focus X-Ray source

Low power usage (30W)

3 year standard warranty

No need for water chiller

High power density leads to increased intensity

Integrated Montel mirrors for ideal beam conditioning

SCATEX pinholes

Ideal circular beam shape with negligible parasitic background scatter.

No parasitic aperture edge scattering

Higher resolution / Higher flux

More compact collimation beampath allows longer detector distance

Easy, stable, pinhole alignment

XL Sample Chamber

Extra-Large chamber, with motorized  XY-stage for sample positioning, mapping and accommodation of versatile standard and 3rd party stages.  

Inner dimensions: 287 mm x 501 mm x 380 mm (W x H x D)

Flanges for additional supply connections

XY-stage with 80 mm x 130 mm translation

Motorized reference sample wheel

Operation in vacuum, air,  or inert gas atmosphere

VÅNTEC-500 2D detector

Large active area, low background, high sensitivity 2D detector

Large active area (14 cm diameter) for full frame of view SAXS/WAXS scattering images

Very low background for highest sensitivity

Excellent spatial resolution (68 micron pixel size)

Maintenance-free (no water/air required or sensitivity to strong primary beam or detector movement under bias)

Service & Support