Liquid Surface X-ray Scattering


Synchrotron x-ray surface scattering is the most powerful probe of
molecular and mesoscale structure at liquid-vapor and liquid-liquid
interfaces. The precise and flexible design of the liquid surface and interface reflectometer at ChemMatCARS (APS, 15 -ID-C) and the high brilliance
and wide x-ray energy range (5-70 keV) offered in this third generation
insertion device beamline provides a world-leading capability for the
study of liquid surfaces and buried liquid-liquid interfaces. 

The scientific scope of the liquid surface and interface research at ChemMatCARS is summarized as the follows:

  • Environmental chemistry at liquid interfaces
    Including studies of solvent extraction separations, gas hydrate formation, natural organic matter, and nanoparticle toxicity
  • Chemistry of life processes and biomolecular materials
    Including studies of peripheral membrane protein-lipid interactions, anti-microbial peptides, and functional peptide amphiphiles orhybrid bio-nanomaterials;
  • Directed assembly for tailored functionality at liquid interfaces Including studies of organic/inorganic nucleation and mineralization, elastic properties of nanoscopic films, and tunable polymer brushes with mesoscopic patterning.

A full suite of x-ray surface scattering techniques is provided to measure atomic, molecular, and mesoscopic ordering at liquid interfaces, including resonant and non-resonant reflectivity, grazing-incidence diffraction and small angle scattering, surface fluorescence, surface diffuse scattering, and fast techniques, such as grazing incidence diffraction in the 1D pinhole geometry.


The following links provide further information regarding our liquid surface x-ray scattering setup: