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Cinematic reflectometry using QIKR, the quite intense kinetics reflectometer

Publication Type
Journal Name
Review of Scientific Instruments
Publication Date
Page Numbers
013302 to 013302

The Quite Intense Kinetics Reflectometer (QIKR) will be a general-purpose, horizontal-sample-surface neutron reflectometer. Reflectometers measure the proportion of an incident probe beam reflected from a surface as a function of wavevector (momentum) transfer to infer the distribution and composition of matter near an interface. The unique scattering properties of neutrons make this technique especially useful in the study of soft matter, biomaterials, and materials used in energy storage. Exploiting the increased brilliance of the Spallation Neutron Source Second Target Station, QIKR will collect specular and off-specular reflectivity data faster than the best existing such machines. It will often be possible to collect complete specular reflectivity curves using a single instrument setting, enabling “cinematic” operation, wherein the user turns on the instrument and “films” the sample. Samples in time-dependent environments (e.g., temperature, electrochemical, or undergoing chemical alteration) will be observed in real time, in favorable cases with frame rates as fast as 1 Hz. Cinematic data acquisition promises to make time-dependent measurements routine, with time resolution specified during post-experiment data analysis. This capability will be deployed to observe such processes as in situ polymer diffusion, battery electrode charge–discharge cycles, hysteresis loops, and membrane protein insertion into lipid layers.