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Comparison of Pinhole Collimation and Focusing Optics for SANS



Charles J. Glinka, John G. Barker, David F. Mildner


We examine quantitatively the instrumental factors that affect the theoretical performance and practical application of conventional pinhole collimation and focusing optics for Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) measurements. We calculate the relative performance of pinhole collimation vis-a-vis focusing by grazing incidence elliptical mirrors and compare the results with a recent ray-tracing simulation to show that the performance gains due to focusing found in the simulation arise largely from assuming a much large sample size. We also compare measurements of the parasitic scattering from pinhole collimation with that from focusing cylindrical quartz mirrors, and a focusing refractive optic, to stress the importance of signal-to-noise as the true measure of performance for SANS instruments.
Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research A


small-angle scattering, neutron optics, parasitic scattering, x ray optics, grazing incidence mirrors, non-specular scattering, focusing mirrors


, C. , Barker, J. and Mildner, D. (2015), Comparison of Pinhole Collimation and Focusing Optics for SANS, Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research A, [online], (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created September 21, 2015, Updated February 19, 2017