Diffraction & Scattering

Neutron and Synchrotron Diffraction & Small-Angle Scattering – Four complementary methods for providing structural information

Your benefits compared to lab-based analytics

The materials that make up an industrial product often go through complicated processes before they reach their final shape and form. Every process that has been performed influences the final structure, and therefore the properties, of the product. Diffraction and Small-Angle Scattering are methods available for detecting phases and their morphologies.

Synchrotron techniques provide high transmission with light elements, and strong contrast with heavier elements. Neutron techniques, on the other hand, provide strong contrast with light elements, and higher transmission with heavier elements. This means that the four methods offer different yet complementary contrast possibilities.

Diffraction can be used for structural characterization, as well as textures and residual-stress analysis.

Small-Angle Scattering can be used for morphological characterization, such as the size, shape and orientation distributions of different kinds of materials.

Neutron and Synchrotron techniques deliver high resolution, high throughput, and allow real-time investigations. The data obtained provides the basis for further analytical capabilities, as described below.

We are looking forward to working with you.

Small-Angle Scattering is used as a qualitative and quantitative measurement technology with the following analysis capabilities:

Size distribution analysis

Size distribution analysis

  • Determination of the nano- and micro-scale structures of randomly oriented systems
  • Quantification of particle size distribution of poly-dispersed  systems
Shape distribution analysis

Shape distribution analysis

  • Identification of external form and internal structures 
  • Determination of shape distributions
Scattering_example_3 1920

Orientation analysis

  • Determination of alignment of structures

The complementarity of Neutron and Synchrotron Small-Angle Scattering

Selection of advantages of each technique


Neutron Small-Angle Scattering

  • Higher contrast for light elements (such as H, B, Li)
  • Higher penetration of metallic elements (such as Ti, Cr, Fe)
  • Higher contrast difference for neighboring elements (as example Pd and Rh)
  • Sensitive to magnetic structures 

Synchrotron Small-Angle Scattering

  • Higher penetration for light elements (such as H, B, Li)
  • Higher contrast for of metallic (such as Ti, Cr, Fe)
  • Higher spatial resolution compared to neutrons and lab-based X-ray systems
  • Much higher temporal resolution compared to neutrons and lab-based X-ray systems
  • Much higher sample throughput compared to neutrons and lab-based X-ray systems

Technical details of Neutron and Synchrotron Small-Angle Scattering

Selection of detailed information

Information Neutron

Small-Angle Scattering


Small-Angle Scattering

Energy range

0.05 - 4 meV

2.8 - 41.3 keV


4.5 - 40 Å

0.3 - 4.4 Å

Sample to detector distance

1 - 18 m

2.1 - 7.2 m

Accessible q-range

0.0006 - 1.5 Å-1

0.0012 - 2.81.5 Å-1


Δλ/λ = 10 %

ΔE/E = 0.02 %

Spot Size Up to 2.5 x 2.5 mm2 maximum Down to 25 x 10 µm2 minimum


The way we work with you





Applied material analytics with Neutron and Synchrotron radiation &
tailor-made infrastructure


Data analysis and interpretation




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