SAXS: polymers and gels

Non-destructive structural information

Since the world consumption of polymers is growing rapidly at the same time as raw material costs continue to rise, there is great interest is employing small-angle scattering (SAXS) and related diffraction techniques to supply a wealth of structural information, such as: size, shape, internal structure and mass of particles, particle size distribution in polydispersed systems, and fractal dimensions in disordered systems. SAXS can be used to facilitate an understanding of the relaxation of flow induced orientation, as it competes with crystallization in polymer processing, leading to a systematic prediction of the process, structure, and property relationships in plastic production.

Other applications include the study of inhomogeneities in polymer gels, inter-polymer complexes and thermo-reversible gelation on polymer solutions. SAXS is used to investigate various colloids and surfactants systems, including the effect of interaction with polymers on the size and shape of surfactant micelles in water, evaluation of micelle dimensions of novel surfactants, and the inner structure of multi-component polymeric lattices as a function of composition and method of preparation.

Relative to the study of block copolymers, the capabilities of ultra-SAXS coupled with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) enable the development of an understanding of how kinetics and thermodynamics interplay in the formation of these materials.

Rigaku offers a choice of SAXS solutions, from the ultra-SAXS capable S-MAX3000 to the powerful and flexible Ultima IV and the exceptionally easy-to-use SmartLab®.


Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) pin-hole camera system
Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) Kratky camera system