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Polarized Resonant Soft X-ray Scattering (P-RSoXS)

A picture of the NIST resonant soft xray instrument and visiting NIST scientists

Built with a collaboration with the RSoXS project in the NIST Materials Science and Engineering Division, polarized resonant soft X-ray scattering (P-RSoXS) is an emerging powerhouse characterization of soft materials. RSoXS characterizes spatial correlations in atomic density and molecular chemistry with a contrast mechanism based on both electron density and molecular orbital resonances. In addition to the traditional modes of RSoXS, this station includes a polarized beam to provide a unique capability to measure spatial correlations of molecular orientation. Using a tunable photon energy and polarization from the NSLS-II synchrotron insertion device, contrast can be varied in a manner similar to isotopic deuteration effects available in neutron techniques. As with many soft X-ray techniques, the sample form is often similar to transmission electron microscopy formats, namely a thin sample mounted on a transparent grid or window, although grazing incidence is also under development. To take advantage of that similarity, the NIST RSoXS instrument is fitted with a sample load lock system compatible with some transmission electron microscopy platforms, allowing users to move samples between real space and inverse space imaging without remounting. Sample environments that allow for gaseous and fluid environments are being deployed.

For more information on recent progress in RSoXS:

  1. project page supporting the development of RSoXS at NIST.
  2. Publication:"Resonant soft X‐ray scattering in polymer science": 10.1002/pol.20210414
  3. Publication: "A NIST facility for resonant soft x-ray scattering measuring nano-scale soft matter structure at NSLS-II": 10.1088/1361-648X/abdffb


Energy Range: 0.1 keV to 2.2 keV
Insertion Device: Elliptical Polarized Undulator (EPU)
Spot Size: 50-500 μm square
Modes of Measurement: linearly or circularly polarized Resonant Soft X-ray Scattering, X-ray Absorption in total electron yeild or transmission modes
Detection System: 4k x 4k in-vacuum CCD 60mm square
Data Analysis: NSLS-III Bluesky and Databroker python packages, as well as custom Igor Pro procedures

Usage Information

Access Information

P-RSoXS is operating and available through general user proposals (through BNL user program) or through collaboration with NIST staff.

Created July 10, 2020, Updated September 30, 2021