Small angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) is a nondestructive technique for characterization of the size and shape of nanoparticles and large molecules, pore sizes, and characteristic distances of partially ordered materials.
How SAXS works – a monochromatic X-ray beam illuminates the sample and X-rays that are elastically scattered at angles close to the incident beam (0.1 – 10 degrees) are detected. The scattering signal is the difference between the average electron densities of the macromolecules and the solvent.
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- Signal Detected: Scattered X-rays, scattering angle range 0.1 – 10°
- Elements Detected: All if they are present
- Can provide structural information on dimensions of 1 – 100 nm
- Can measure repeat distances in partially ordered systems of up to 150 nm
- Crystalline samples not needed
- Performs quantitative measurements of particle shapes and sizes
- Minimal/no sample preparation
- No vacuum required
- Aggregation of molecules will bias the results
- Resolution of 1 – 3 nm
- Data must be spatially averaged
- Characterization of conformational changes in macromolecules
- Information of macromolecular folding and unfolding
- Characterization of lipid vesicle dispersions