KWS-X: The new SAXS/WAXS Laboratory Beamline

The new SAXS-WAXS laboratory beamline. © MLZ

The new customized SAXS/WAXS instrument from XENOCS has been installed in the JCNS X-ray laboratory since the end of 2021.


As one of the most powerful in-house SAXS instruments in the world, it will provide powerfully complementary experimental approaches to our SANS as well as other neutron instruments.

As a young member of our small-angle scattering instruments using X-ray as the beam, KWS-X is equipped with a high flux metal-jet source and a moveable Eiger 2R 4M SAXS detector. With an additional 4-axis motorized WAXS detector and Bonse-Hart USAXS, the scattering vector q can cover a wide area from 0.0002 to 7 Å-1. Compared to other instruments, it also comprises a large sample environment station that can be used with ambient pressure conditions. Many sample environmental accessories make it possible to perform experiments at temperatures from -150 °C to 1000 °C, under shear, tensile, etc.


SAXS-WAXS laboratory beamline from Metal-jet source view. © Baohu Wu/FRM II
SAXS-WAXS laboratory beamline from the right.
Top view of the SAXS-WAXS laboratory beamline.
SAXS detector in the detector chamber.
SAXS and WAXS detector in the sample chamber.
Peltier stage in the sample chamber.
USAXS Analyzer moves out in sample chamber.
BIOSAXS robot autosampler.
SAXS-WAXS beamline in the laboratory.
Measurement in an open-air position.

Technical Data

X-ray source:

• Excillum’s MetalJet D2+ • Ga anode 250W 70kV 3,57 mA 20×80 μm • Flux:

  • 2.45×109 ph/s @ Full beam model;
  • 6.16×10^8 ph/s @ High Flux (HF) model;
  • 8.09×107 ph/s @ High Resolution (HR);
  • 1.77×10^6 ph/s @ Ultra High Resolution (UHR)

Optics and Collimation:

• FOX 3D Galium multilayer optics
• Slightly focusing optics
• Four motorized independent blades per set of slits (S1, S2 and S3)
• S1 + S3: Collimation length> 1.9 m (Sample chamber or BioCUBE)
• S1 + S2: Collimation length> 1.3 m (XL position)

SAXS Detector: Dectris Eiger2R 4M:

• Pixel Size: 75× 75 µm2
• 4,5 Million pixels
• Sensitive Area: 155×163 [mm2] • Modules (W x H): 2×4
• Count-rate capability: 107 ph/s/pixel
• Q-Xoom: in-vacuum moving detector
• Sample to detector distance > 1.8 m

WAXS Detector: Dectris Eiger2R 500K:

• Pixel Size: 75 × 75 µm2
• 4-axis motorized WAXS for simultaneous 2D WAXS measurements


• Monochromator: 2-bounce Bartels Si(111)
• Analyzer: 4-bounce Si(111) channel cut crystals


Wide Q range:

• SAXS: 0.0015 Å-1 < q < 5 Å-1
• USAXS: qmin < 0.0002 Å-1
• WAXS: qmax > 7 Å-1

High flux and lower background level:

• Possible for time-resolved experiments in second level

Three main measurement positions with maximum flexibility:

• Sample chamber, BioCUBE and XL position
• Measurements in both vacuum and air
• Modular conversion of various settings From standard position in chamber to BIOSAXS to XL large sample environment
• Plenty of space for large sample environment.

In-line sample visualization:

• 2xCCTV in-line camera + 3 overview camera + 1 endoscope
• Machine vision technology

Sample Environment and Add-ons

Standard sample holders:

• 27 positions 1.5 mm capillary holder
• 25 positions Solids sample holder
• 15 positions powder/gel sample holder
• 8 positions powder/gel capsule sample holder (0.5 mm and 1 mm spacer)

Temperature controlled sample holders:

• Multi-purpose X-Ray Temperature Stage (-30 – +150°C)
• Multirefillable capillary holder with temperature control (-10°C to +80°C)
• Linkam temperature sample stage MFS350 (capillaries & flat cells, -150 to +350°C)
• Linkam Extended high temperature sample stage (RT to 1000°C)

Flow cells:

• Low Noise flow cell (SiN windows)
• Glass capllary flow cell (ID from 1 mm to 2.5mm)
• Polyconbonate capllary flow cells (ID 2 mm)
• BioCUBE flow cell Assembly & cleaning pump system & HPLC connection

Shear and Rheo-SAXS:

• Linkam Shear Cell System (ambient to 350°C)
• Anton paar Rheometer- Polyconbonate double cylinder shearing system


• Linkam Modular Force Stage


• Standard and advanced GISAXS module
• BioXolver and Cart for sample loading robot
• In-line UV/Vis spectrometer for BioCUBE
• Linkam T96 controller and Lquid Nitrogen pump
• XL Large sample environment station, capacity > 100 kg
• Additional rotation capability for the XL- XZ table
• Metrohm Trtrtion system and reaction cell, pH-counter ion control system
• mT Jumping and stopped flow/ UV-Vis/ Fluorescence
• Permanent magnet (Halbach) arrays
More sample environments from our neutron instrument can be shared with our neutron sample environments. Users can also bring their own sample environment.


Life and medical science:

• Structure and interactions of protein, nucleic acid
• In-situ monitoring of protein conformational changes, protein aggregation
• Characterizing monoclonal antibody-protein antigen interactions
• Hierarchical structures of biomaterials, e.g. collagen, chitosan
• Drug delivery systems based on nanoparticles, vesicles or liposomes

Polymer and soft matter:

• Structure of polymers, colloids, hydrogels, surfactants and micellers
• In-situ crystallisation of semi-crystalline polymer
• Determine the phase of self-assembled block-copolymers or liquid crystalline polymers
• Test the tensile properties of polymer or follow the degree of crystallinity
• Microemulsions, complex fluids …
• Colloids, nanocomposites, polymer gels …

Material science:

• Structure of fibre, membranes, thin films and nanocomsposites …
• Aerogels, silica foams, coating
• Micro and mesoporous materials, cements, metal and alloys
• Crystal formation during perovskite deposition and other energy materials

Food science:

• Monitor the size, shape and stability of fat globules in dairy upon aging, drying and digestion
• Crystalline fraction and lamellar structure in starchy
• Structure and size of polysaccharides and proteins in hydrated systems
• Oleo-gelator network


Source: Baohu Wu (JCNS)

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