Neutron reflectometry is the structural technique of choice for studying biological and soft matter interfaces. However, the slow data collection at traditional reflectometers has limited the impact of these measurements. The recent advent of fast instruments such as the CANDOR reflectometer, with measurement speeds on the order of minutes instead of hours, opens new possibilities for systematically exploring increasingly complex experimental systems. Efficient use of these new capabilities requires automated sample handling and preparation, which we are initially implementing under this aim for CANDOR.
We have acquired an automated liquid handling device for use at NCNR beamlines. It allows the mixing and injection of liquid solutions of arbitrary composition into fluids cells. We are currently implementing seamless online and offline use and are integrating the liquid handler with the CANDOR instrument control software. The liquid handler has the following features: