Due to the administrative focus on perceived academic “performance”, with all its flawed metrics, there is significant pressure to publish as quick as you can, with as bold a claim as possible. This encourages taking shortcuts with analyses, leading to a spate of unsubstantiated claims or “alternative facts”. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) in particular, will give unreliable results when such shortcuts are taken, and these invalid results can then be used to support a wide range of invalid claims.
When done right, however, SAXS offers an unmatched view into a material’s nanostructure. It does so even in in-situ experiments, for bulk amounts of material, with a minimum of sample preparation. It is worth it, therefore, to explore the boundaries of the technique, as well as its correct application, so we can use its awesome powers for good.
This talk will introduce SAXS, quantify its dark and light sides, and show how it can be used correctly to answer a whole host of questions across a wide spectrum of nanoscientific research topics.