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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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FIGARO Manual V14 (January 2017)

In the following link you can find the latest copy of the FIGARO manual for users and local contacts. It contains information about how to use the instrument, how to set up an experiment including a solid/liquid interface experiment involving a horizontal sample offset, instructions for setting up adsorption troughs or Langmuir trough experiments, how to reduce and transfer your data, and what to do in case of instrument problems. Please send any suggestions for additional information to the instrument responsibles.

FIGARO/D17 Data Reduction Software

A new version of Cosmos (v3.0) with an enhanced graphical interface was launched at the start of the June 2012 cycle.  The functionality is much improved with the display now tabbed rather than having lots of separate windows, copy/paste in the data table, seemless interchange from 2 to 3 angles, an automatic normalization feature, an option to select only the data output formats you want, and an interactive plot feature with animation.  This development was possible due to the great work of Eric Pellegrini and Miguel Gonzales both of whom we thank warmly.

To run the new Cosmos please do a 'live update' of your current version of Lamp.  Then re-start the software and launch Cosmos.  If you have a very old version of Lamp, however, you may get v2.39 along with a message to re-install Lamp.  This is because the new Cosmos runs on the programming code IDL8.  In this case you do not need to uninstall your old version of Lamp, but you do need to install the new version, which can be downloaded here.

Note that the new Cosmos must be used for all FIGARO data recorded from June 2012 onwards due to an update of the sample-to-detector distance calculations and the chopper parameters in the data files which affects Q.  Further changes can be found in the 'news' section of the new Cosmos. If you encounter any problems or if you  have suggestions for future improvements the instrument running team would be very grateful for your feedback.

Reduced Data Formats

Fourth and fifth data output formats have been launched over the last few years.

One is called .mft and has normalized, binned data with a fourth column for the Q resolution.  In addition there is some useful information in the header about the experiment, the settings and the files used to reduce the data.  A feature of the .mft format is the possibility to have up to nine configurable parameters listed in the header from the raw data files or calculation options.  This allows the header of the reduced data from a given experiment to include tailored information from the experiment itself (e.g. a lipid monolayer experiment on a Langmuir trough experiment could have 'Langmuir area' whereas a solid/liquid bilayer phase transition experiment may prefer 'sample temperature'). Input into this concept from Ángel Piñeiro and Adrian Rennie is gratefully acknowledged.

The other new format is called .lam which is equivalent to .mft but has a fifth column as lambda and skips the optional extra header information. This file is used for the application of wavelength-dependent transmission corrections to the reflectivity while retaining all the other information. An example of these experiment is liquid/liquid interface measurements. Transmission corrections should be carried out by the user and then the file may need to be converted back to four columns (i.e. deletion of the lambda column) depending on the analysis software used. Input into this concept from Ali Zarbakhsh is gratefully acknowledged.

Here is a short summary of the five formats available. AFT = binned, normalised data in three columns (Q, R, dR); 4 lines of header; all points included over the q-ranges selected.  DAT = binned, normalised data in three columns (Q, R, dR); 0 lines of header; negative points removed.  MFT = binned, normalised data in four columns (Q, R, dR, dQ); 23 lines of header; all points included over the q-ranges selected. OUT = unbinned, unnormalised data in four columns (Q, R, dR, dQ); 42 lines of header; all points included over the q-ranges selected. LAM = binned, normalised data in five columns (Q, R, dR, dQ, lambda); 13 lines of header; all points included over the q-ranges selected.

Cosmos Updates

The updates to Cosmos from 2009 until 2011 can be found in the following file.  Subsequent updates, implemented in the new Cosmos from June 2012 onwards, are listed in the software itself in the 'news' section.  Such updates will not be duplicated in the following file, so this file is now fixed and will not be updated again.

FIGARO Data Format List

Here are all the versions of the FIGARO data format. Subsequent numbered versions will be uploaded here. A document containing a brief list of changes to each version is then listed. Also, a document explaining the changes to the data block format in v12 is listed. The old versions of the data format are retained. Examples of the raw data file from the old and new data block formats are then given. Note that in the document stating the changes, the definition of the parameter blocks is that the first entry starts at 0 (not 1). If you require any explanations of the parameter labels then please get in touch with the instrument responsibles.

FIGARO Horizontal Geometry

The document below gives a description of the horizontal geometry of components of the FIGARO instrument. The only change from v1 to v2 is a refinement by a couple of centimetres of the sample-to-detector distance.