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FIGARO (Fluid Interfaces Grazing Angles ReflectOmeter) is a high flux, flexible resolution, time-of-flight neutron reflectometer for the study of horizontal surfaces such as free liquids. It was launched as a user instrument at the ILL in April 2009 and has already generated over 100 peer-reviewed publications.

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Instruments & Support : Instruments & groups > FIGARO > Description

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FIGARO - Fluid Interfaces Grazing Angles ReflectOmeter

Figaro is a high flux, flexible resolution, time-of-flight reflectometer with a vertical scattering plane. It is optimized for the study of horizontal surfaces such as free liquids. No polarized neutron option is available currently nor is foreseen in the near future. The instrument includes the possibility to strike the interface from above or below the sample in a wide q-range. With an incoming beam of wavelengths comprised between 2 Å and 30 Å, and M=4 supermirrors to deflect the beam, it is possible to attain a q-range up to 0.42 Å-1 (reflection up) or 0.27 Å-1 (reflection down) for horizontal samples, and an even broader q-range can be achieved for solid samples which can be tilted using one of the sample goniometers. The sample area includes an active anti-vibration table and free liquid surfaces are aligned automatically using an optical device. The 2D neutron detector allows the acquisition off-specular scattering and GI-SANS data.


  • Specular scattering from 'free liquid' (air/liquid, liquid/liquid) samples but also air/solid and solid/liquid interfaces;
  • Off-specular' scattering and GISANS from the above sample types;
  • Kinetics phenomena on a minute or slower time scale.

The neutron optics of FIGARO

The neutrons travel from the right to the left through this assembly comprising the frame overlap mirrors, the choppers, the deflector mirrors and the collimator guide.