Neutron reflectometer with horizontal scattering geometry

D17 - Neutron reflectometer with horizontal scattering geometry

D17, is a neutron reflectometer with horizontal scattering geometry (vertical surfaces) designed to be as flexible as possible in resolution and modes of operation. It is suitable for the study of surface and interface structures in solid, magnetic and solid/liquid samples over a wide range of length scales.

General access to D17 is established through the ILL experiment proposal precedures via the ILL User Club. If you have an experiment in mind or questions regarding access, proposals or D17's capabilities, feel free to contact the instrument responsibles well before constructing your proposal. Please refer to this page for the different access routes:


  • Study of surfaces and buried interfaces of thin (magnetic) solid films and multilayers
  • Solid-liquid interfaces and membranes
  • Examination of off-specular reflectivity from atomic and magnetic in-plane structure
  • Kinetic studies of interface evolution.

Instrument layout

D17 operates in four modes:

  • Time-of-flight (TOF), non-polarised
    This is achieved by a double chopper system using wavelengths from 2 to 27 Å with great flexibility in resolution. This mode can simultaneously cover an order of magnitude in q in less than a minute, allowing the time evolution of a sample to be followed (kinetics). 
  • Time-of-flight (TOF), polarised beam
    This is achieved by using an S-bender polarising the TOF beam in a selectable wavelength range with high polarisation. The instrument resolution and beam shape remains flexible, thus allowing for kinetic studies.
  • Monochromatic, non-polarised  
    The non-poarised angle dispersive mode (high flux at 5.5 Å used over the entire q-range). Not suitable for kinetic studies as each point in q must be measured sequentially. GISANS possible.
  • Monochromatic, polarised beam
    For the study of magnetic samples with a choice of polarisation analysis between a supermirror for the specular beam and a 3He cell covering the wide solid angle of the multidetector for off-specular studies. The instrument is ideal for the measurement of off-specular scattering arising from large scale in-plane structure, glancing incidence small angle scattering (GISANS) from smaller scale in-plane structure.

Instrument Literature

"Recent upgrades of the neutron reflectometer D17 at ILL", T. Saerbeck, R. Cubitt, A. Wildes, G. Manzin, K. H. Andersen and P. Gutfreund, J. Appl. Cryst. (2018) 51, 249-256

"Towards generalized data reduction on a chopper-based time-of-flight neutron reflectometer", P. Gutfreund, T. Saerbeck, M.A. Gonzalez, E. Pellegrini, M. Laver, C. Dewhurst, R. Cubitt. Journal of Applied Crystallography 51, 606-615 (2018).

"An improved algorithm for reducing reflectometry data involving divergent beams or non-flat samples", R. Cubitt, T. Saerbeck, R.A. Campbell, R. Barker,P. Gutfreund, J. Appl. Cryst. (2015) 48, 2006-2011

"D17: the new reflectometer at the ILL", R. Cubitt, G. Fragneto. Applied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing 74, 329-331 (2002).