A Basic Introduction to Grazing Incidence Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering

  • P. Müller-BuschbaumEmail author
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 776)


Within the last years, grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) emerged to a versatile and frequently used analysis technique in the field of microand nano-structured thin films and surfaces. GISAXS is used for the characterization of micro- and nano-scale density correlations and shape analysis of objects at surfaces or at buried interfaces for various classes of materials such as ceramics, metals, semiconductors, polymers, biopolymers, and soft matter. As a result, GISAXS provides an excellent complement to more conventional nano-scale structural probes such as atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Whereas both are operated in real space, GISAXS as an advanced scattering technique gives results in reciprocal space. In contrast to standard small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), which uses transmission geometry described in Chap. 2, GISAXS is performed in reflection geometry. Thus GISAXS has somewhat similarities with SAXS and can be understood as a SAXS experiment performed in another scattering geometry (replacing transmission by reflection geometry). Alternatively, GISAXS can be envisaged as the extension of grazing incidence diffraction (GID) to small scattering angles or as a sort of diffuse reflectivity. Consequently, three different X-ray communities, SAXS, GID, and diffuse reflectivity are converging through GISAXS [1].


Incident Angle Critical Angle Bragg Peak Pair Correlation Function Grazing Incidence 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physik-Department, LS E13Technische Universitüt München85748 GarchingGermany

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