Liquids Reflectometer


Mission Statement

Neutron reflectometry probes surface and interfacial structures of thin films on length scales of 0.5 nm to 350 nm. 

Instrument Description

The Liquids Reflectometer measures specular and off specular neutron reflectivity in a horizontal sample geometry from solid surfaces, tilted solid/liquid interfaces, and free liquid surfaces. Probe wavelength and flux constrain size and flatness to samples no smaller than about 1×1 cm2 deposited on atomically smooth and cm-scale flat substrates such as silicon, quartz, sapphire, or water. The most commonly used substrate is a 50-mm-diameter, 5-mm-thick silicon wafer. A variety of sample environments are supported, including an 18-slot robotic sample changer, temperature-controlled liquid/solid and potentiostatically controlled electrochemical cells, vacuum and gas-handling chambers, a rheometer, and a Langmuir trough. For specialized sample environments, the user should contact a beamline staff member.


Researchers are using the LR to study a broad range of problems, including those in the following scientific fields

  • Interfacial reactions in energy storage materials
  • Phase separation in polymer films
  • Inorganic templating at air/water interfaces
  • Complex fluids under shear and flow
  • Vesicles and gels
  • Reaction kinetics
  • Surfactants at interfaces
  • Interfacial structure in drug delivery systems
  • Membranes and their intermolecular interaction
  • Protein adsorption
  • Critical phenomena in fluid systems
  • Biocompatibility and sensors
  • Corrosion reactions


Moderator Coupled supercritical H2
Bandwidth 3.4 Å @ 60 Hz, 6.8 Å @ 30 Hz
Wavelength Range 2.5 Å < λ < 17.0 Å
Resolution 0.02 < δQ/Q < 0.10
Sample Environment 18 slot sample-changing robot
2”, 3”, and 4” diameter liquid/solid cells
Langmuir trough
Vacuum and multi-environment chambers