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Published March 2015 | Published
Journal Article Open

Analysis of biosurfaces by neutron reflectometry: From simple to complex interfaces


Because of its high sensitivity for light elements and the scattering contrast manipulation via isotopic substitutions, neutron reflectometry (NR) is an excellent tool for studying the structure of soft-condensed material. These materials include model biophysical systems as well as in situ living tissue at the solid–liquid interface. The penetrability of neutrons makes NR suitable for probing thin films with thicknesses of 5–5000 Å at various buried, for example, solid–liquid, interfaces [J. Daillant and A. Gibaud, Lect. Notes Phys. 770, 133 (2009); G. Fragneto-Cusani, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 13, 4973 (2001); J. Penfold, Curr. Opin. Colloid Interface Sci. 7, 139 (2002)]. Over the past two decades, NR has evolved to become a key tool in the characterization of biological and biomimetic thin films. In the current report, the authors would like to highlight some of our recent accomplishments in utilizing NR to study highly complex systems, including in-situ experiments. Such studies will result in a much better understanding of complex biological problems, have significant medical impact by suggesting innovative treatment, and advance the development of highly functionalized biomimetic materials.

Additional Information

© 2015 American Vacuum Society. Received 15 December 2014. Revised 03 February 2015. Accepted 05 February 2015. Published online 16 March 2015. This work benefited from the use of the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center at Los Alamos Neutron Science Center funded by the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences and Los Alamos National Laboratory under DOE Contract No. DEAC52- 06NA25396. The authors thank the ISIS Neutron Source (STFC, UK) for access to neutron facilities on POLREF through Proposal No. RB1120119.

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