Neutron reflectometry is a very powerful and essential technique for the studies on material interfaces due lo its high spatial resolution, ∼a few tenths of nm, along the depth direction. The use of neutron as a probe is a big advantage for structural analysis on soft-materials, since the scattering contrast can be highly enhanced in hydrogenous materials such as polymers, surfactants, lipids, proteins, etc.. without big changes in their physical and chemical properties by substituting all or part of the hydrogen atoms in the molecules with deuterium (a deuterium labeling method). Furthermore, the neutron reflectometry can explore deeply-buried interfaces such as solid/liquid interfaces in a non-destruetive way, and make in situ measurements combined with various sample environments due to its high transmission to the materials. In this article, the neutron reflectometry is reviewed from the standpoint of researches on interfacial structures of the thin films of polymer and lipid, and its future prospects at a high-intensity pulsed-neutron source are presented.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry