Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory   APS USAXS instrument
USAXS instrument at the Advanced Photon Source,
X-ray science division, beamline 9ID-C

Advanced Photon Source

A U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science,
Office of Basic Energy Sciences national synchrotron x-ray research facility

Argonne Home > Advanced Photon Source > USAXS >

Staff web pages:
      Jan Ilavsky, inst. scientist

      Glassy Carbon int. stnd.
      Example USAXS data
      Getting beam time
      Instrument Geometries
      USAXS imaging
      Sample Holders
      Select publications
      User publications
      Shipping Instructions
Live USAXS data
Software by Jan Ilavsky:
      Indra (reduction)
      Irena (analysis)
      Nika (2D data reduction)
      Cromer-Liberman AtFF
      Clementine (kinetic rate analysis)
      other macros
Useful WWW links

Ultra-Small-Angle X-ray Scattering Facility

e-mail:, instrument scientist: Jan Ilavsky, 630-252-0866, and Ivan Kuzmenko, 630-252-0327,

The heart of the Ultra-Small-Angle X-ray Scattering (USAXS) facility located at 9ID beamline, station C, at Argonne National Laboratory is an advanced-design Bonse-Hart camera (USAXS) with integrated fixed length pinhole SAXS (500mm) and WAXS (220mm) cameras.

The USAXS/SAXS/WAXS instrument provides World-unique capabilties:
Standard configuration (Si 220 crystals)
Energy range ..........10 - 24 keV
Q range .................. 0.0001 to 6 [1/A] (max depending on energy used)
Collection time ........ 2 - 5 minutes
Intensity range ........ up to 12 decades (depending on sample)
Q resolution ............ ~ 0.00008 [1/A] in the USAXS range (up to ~0.1 [1/A])
WAXS ...................... d spacing range approximately 6A to 0.8 A, depending on energy

Per request (with justification) special configuration (Si 440 crystals) - needs to be requested ahead of scheduling since it requires significant setup and alignment time
Energy ....................14 - 24 keV
Q range .................. 0.00003 to 6 [1/A] (max depending on energy used)
Collection time ........ 4 - 6 minutes
Intensity range ........ up to 12 decades (depending on sample)
Q resolution ............ ~ 0.00003 [1/A] in the USAXS range (up to ~0.1 [1/A])
WAXS ...................... d spacing range approximately 6A to 0.8 A, depending on energy
example of data is at the end of this page.

NOTE: 440 special configuration, by nature of higher Q resolution, is less sensitive than 220 geometry and therefore not suitable for weakly scattering samples.

Want to see how USAXS operates? 3 min (166Mb) movie with data collection is here: USAXS_operations.mp4

For details and to cite in publications the use of the USAXS instrument, please use following publication:
Ultra-small-angle X-ray scattering at the Advanced Photon Source. J. Ilavsky, P.R. Jemian, A.J. Allen, F. Zhang, L.E. Levine and G.G. Long. Journal of Applied Crystallography, 2009, 42 (3), p 469-479.
Abstract: The design and operation of a versatile ultra-small-angle X-ray scattering (USAXS) instrument at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory are presented. The instrument is optimized for the high brilliance and low emittance of an APS undulator source. It has angular and energy resolutions of the order of 10-4, accurate and repeatable X-ray energy tunability over its operational energy range from 8 to 18 keV, and a dynamic intensity range of 108 to 109, depending on the configuration. It further offers quantitative primary calibration of X-ray scattering cross sections, a scattering vector range from 0.0001 to 1 A-1, and stability and reliability over extended running periods. Its operational configurations include one-dimensional collimated (slit-smeared) USAXS, two-dimensional collimated USAXS and USAXS imaging. A robust data reduction and data analysis package, which was developed in parallel with the instrument, is available and supported at the APS.
More publications which can be cited under specific conditions.

Postdoctoral position search:
Post-doctoral position has now been opened at the USAXS instrument. For details see flier.

Mail in program:
We make available about 2-3 days of beatime per cycle to users, who have smaller sets of samples (typically less than 20 samples). Typical use is exploratory research (before applying for beamtime) or when project requires limited number of samples. No beamtime proposal is necessary and users cannot come for experimets to the APS. Samples will be handled by USAXS staff and reduced data will be sent back to users. We accept only samples which are safe, easy to handle, require no processing at the APS, and can be measured at room conditions. Samples MUST be first approved by the beamline staff, so send first e-mail to our e-mail address and describe your needs. If the beamtime is available and experiment is acceptable, we will will provide further instructions including dates. Beamtime is availabel on first-come first-serve basis. Sample preparation and shipping instructions are on this web page. Publication of data from this program requiress beamline staff to be co-authors andmust onclude proper acknowlegdement of the use of USAXS and APS resources.

Mail-in program in support of SANS experiments.
We have collaboration with US SANS facilities and provide mail-in program in support of this needs. More details on this web site.

APS highlights from USAXS work: 2013, 2007, 2016(1), 2016(2)

USAXS users awards: Student award 2015, NIST Silver medal 2016,

1D USAXS Schematic


collimating channel-cut crystal

Schematics of USAXS instrument. For illustration only, NOT for publications. For latest updated drawing please contact beamline scientist.


Schematics of USAXS-SAXS-WAXS

Schematics of the USAXS - SAXS - WAXS instrument with all three geometries. Data are collected sequentially using the three devices. Changover time between detectors is about 30 seconds.

Annealing movie

An in-situ USAXS-SAXS-WAXS study of precipitate dissolution and size evolution in a model gamma-gammaPrime ternary Ni-based alloy (collaboration with Dr. G. Muralidharan, ORNL). A 0.1 mm thick sample was heated from RT to 1100C at 4.5C/min while undergoing repeated USAXS-SAXS-WAXS (24 keV) at 5 minute intervals. Research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Vehicle Technologies, as part of the Propulsion Materials Program.

In situ data collected at 226C over 16 hours using USAXS, SAXS, and WAXS on Al alloy. Courtessy of A. Allen, L. Levine, and F. Zhang, NIST.

USAXS/pinSAXS/WAXS data : In situ data collected at 226°C over about 16 hours represent microstructure evolution of AA2024 aluminum alloy (Allen, Levine, and Zhang, NIST). USAXS data enable quantification of second phase formation (size and volume), WAXS enables phase identification.

SiO2 scattering

Scattering of 1 micron SiO2 spheres in aqueous solution.

High explosives Microstructure change

USAXS/pinSAXS/WAXS in situ data : Data collected by LLNL (Tervor Willey on high-explosives. The material is composite of two high-explosives and plastic binder. The WAXS clearly shows phase changes while USAXS/pinSAXS data show microstructure change as function of heating.


USAXS spheres

Scattering of 1 micron Polystyrene spheres in solution.




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This page last modified: 2017-07-27 1:07 PM