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Keywords:

  • grazing-incidence transmission small-angle X-ray scattering;
  • Born approximation

Determination of the three-dimensional order in thin nanostructured films remains challenging. Real-space imaging methods, including electron microscopies and scanning-probe methods, have difficulty reconstructing the depth of a film and suffer from limited statistical sampling. X-ray and neutron scattering have emerged as powerful complementary techniques but have substantial data collection and analysis challenges. This article describes a new method, grazing-incidence transmission small-angle X-ray scattering, which allows for fast scattering measurements that are not burdened by the refraction and reflection effects that have to date plagued grazing-incidence X-ray scattering. In particular, by arranging a sample/beam geometry wherein the scattering exits through the edge of the substrate, it is possible to record scattering images that are well described by straightforward (Born approximation) scattering models.