Dr. Brian Pauw, from the National Institute of Materials Science, Japan, has just published a really interesting review paper concerning small-angle X-ray scattering. It appears in the Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter and is open access. In the paper, Brian starts with an introduction to the technique, including its advantages and disadvantages alongside a history of instrumentation. He goes on to highlight the drive to collect optimum data, discussing the merits of different equipment geometries (pinhole, slit, Bonse-Hart) and detector types. Available data reduction methods are comprehensively introduced and their potential to improve accuracy outlined. Corrections that should always be made are discussed, taking into account situations in which more factors might have to be taken into account (e.g. different detector types). Finally, mention is made of data fitting methods, alongside common pitfalls that a newcomer should aim to avoid.
This review therefore stands out as a significant contribution to the field of small-angle X-ray scattering. While its comprehensive nature might be thought to direct it towards a more expert audience, the quality of writing means that newcomers are far from excluded. I’d recommend anyone considering using SAXS in their research, and certainly those planning their first syncrotron SAXS experiment, to read this paper. To access the paper from the publisher’s website (to reiterate – it’s open access!), click on the picture below: