Scientific Articles about Neutron Reflection

Adrian R. Rennie
Uppsala University
Uppsala, Sweden

Curious about neutron reflection?

If you want to know how neutron reflectivity is used to study the structure and composition of interfaces, the lists of articles that are provided as links in the documents below will help you find information. A very short article (3 pages, available as open access) can provide a start: R. Cubitt, G. Fragneto, R. E. Ghosh and A. R. Rennie, 'Advances in the Study of Interfaces with Neutron Reflection', Langmuir, 19, (2003), 7685-7687. There is also a book from the IAEA that can be freely downloaded: Neutron Reflectometry: A Probe for Materials Surfaces. Follow the links below to obtain information about specialist articles and papers on individual sub-topics.

Introduction Reviews Instruments Sample Environment Analysis and Software Books


Papers in scientific journals provide an important source of information about the technique and applications of neutron reflectivity. In most cases this will require access by library subscription to obtain the full text of the articles. The bibliographies on individual sub-topics are provided as pdf documents that contain hyperlinks to facilitate access to the original articles using digital object identifiers (doi) as well as conventional journal references. In a few cases, articles may be listed in more than one of the bibliographies that are provided below if they are seen to be relevant to multiple sub-topics such as, for example, data analysis and instrument design.

The documents do not attempt to list all papers that exploit neutron reflection measurements for particular studies of interfaces. The topics for bibliographies are rather selected to cover general principles, instrumentation, design of experiments, data analysis and review articles. The review articles that are listed give further references to theliterature on particular topics in interface and surface science.

Another page provides links to web descriptions of neutron reflection facilities, accounts of software and computer programs for analysis of neutron reflectivity data, and general accounts of the principles and theory of neutron reflectometry.

Review Articles about Applications of Neutron Reflectometry

There are a number of review articles that provide overviews and accounts of the progress of neutron reflection studies. A few papers provide general descriptions but most are focussed on particular topics such as soft matter, surfactants, magnetic materials or biologically relevant interfaces. Many of the review articles are useful as they also provide an introduction to principles of the technique and the analysis of data.

List of reviews: principles and applications of neutron reflection.

Scientific Papers about Neutron Reflectometers

The bibliography of papers that describe instruments is made available in two forms: either sorted by date or sorted by the name of the instrument.

Neutron Reflectometers - bibliography sorted by instrument

Neutron Reflectometers - bibliography sorted by date

There are not papers that describe all neutron reflectometers: descriptions of some are only available on web pages at facilities. Conversely some instruments have been dismantled or facilities closed and the only descriptions that are accessible readily are in published papers. The information in web directory of reflectometers and the links should therefore be seen as complementary.

Web Directory of Neutron Reflectometers (This is an html document.)

Sample Environments for Neutron Reflection Experiments

Controlling and modifying the conditions of a sample during an experiment are often of crucial importance. Neutron reflectivity is used to investigate a wide range of phenomena and there consequently many sample environments that have been developped. These include arrangements for low and high temperature, high pressure, vapour/liquid, solid/liquid, liquid/liquid interfaces, electric and magnetic fields, simultaneous optical spectroscopy and a range of chemical reaction conditions as well as mechanical deformation such as shear. The following list provides references to some descriptions of these experimental arrangements:

Bibliography of articles about sample environments for reflection experiments.

The list is concerned primarily with neutron reflection but in a few cases papers that describe X-ray measurements or ellipsometry are included when the description is relevant also for studies with neutrons.

Papers about Analysis and Fitting of Reflectivity Data

The document linked below provides references to (a) papers that describe the principles of methods used to calculate the reflectivity of X-rays and and neutron from interfaces and (b) papers that provide descriptions of particular software packages and methods of analysis:

Bibliography of articles about calculation of X-ray and neutron specular reflectivity and of descriptions of software.

An important factor in analysis of reflectivity data is to know the scattering lengths and the scattering length densities of materials that form the sample. The density of materials is usually obtained from standard reference books, although in a number of cases densities of solutions, solvated material and alloys may need to be considered carefully. Neutron scattering lengths for most isotopes and for the natural composition of elements have been tabulated by a number of authors. Improved values have been obtained as measuring techniques advance. The following list provides references to some commonly cited tables:

Bibliography of tables of neutron scattering lengths.

In practice, many people may use calculators that are available on the world wide web or are built into analysis software to provide data for scattering lengths and scattering length densities. The data is usually attributed to one of the sources in the list cited above. In a few cases, for precise analysis of neutron scattering, the tables may not be sufficiently recent to contain the latest reported best values. For example, interferometry has been used recently to determine revised values of the coherent scattering lengths for isotopes of oxygen.

Books and Conference Proceedings

There are some books that provide helpful descriptions of X-ray and neutron reflection. The following list provides references with ISBN numbers as identification. It should be noted that publishers may use different ISBN in different markets and for different formats of a book (hardback, paperback, e-book, etc.). Only some of the books are available in electronic form.

Annotated bibliography of books that are concerned with X-ray and neutron reflection.

There are links from the calendar of past events to volumes of conference proceedings that have been published and are available on the web. These include most of the 'Surface X-ray and Neutron Scattering (SXNS)' conferences and the REFILL meetings.

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I would be happy to receive copies of other relevant papers to include in these lists. Please send updated information and address any comments or report errors to Adrian R. Rennie at:

Uppsala University
Uppsala, Sweden

© Copyright A. R. Rennie Last updated: 30 March 2022