Neutron Reflectometry as a Surface Probe: A Personal Perspective


Development of neutron reflectometry has enabled neutron scattering laboratories worldwide to makeimportant contributions to the study of surfaces, interfaces and thin-films. As a result, neutron scattering has become aninvaluable research tool for the scientific disciplines that did not traditionally use neutrons for research as recently as 20years ago. At Chalk River (Canada), one discipline with which we have formed a close affiliation is electrochemistry.Our decision in the early 1990s to reach out to this potential user community was based on the fact that Canada hasmany researchers active in corrosion science. The virtue of this affiliation is best demonstrated in our experimentswhere reflectometry is performed simultaneously on the sample being investigated with electro-impedance spectroscopy,a standard electrochemical technique. The two methods in combination have led to the results that would have otherwisebeen missed or wrongly interpreted.Keywords: Neutron reflectometry, electro-impedance spectroscopy, corrosion. Z. TunCanadian Neutron Beam Centre, National Research Council Canada, Chalk River LaboratoriesChalk River, Ontario, Canada KOJ JJO