We describe experiments in which the neutron spin echo technique is used to measure neutron scattering angles. We have implemented the technique, dubbed spin echo scattering angle measurement (SESAME), using thin films of Permalloy electrodeposited on silicon wafers as sources of the magnetic fields within which neutron spins precess. With 30-μm -thick films we resolve neutron scattering angles to about 0.02° with neutrons of 4.66 Å wavelength. This allows us to probe correlation lengths up to 200 nm in an application to small angle neutron scattering. We also demonstrate that SESAME can be used to separate specular and diffuse neutron reflection from surfaces at grazing incidence. In both of these cases, SESAME can make measurements at higher neutron intensity than is available with conventional methods because the angular resolution achieved is independent of the divergence of the neutron beam. Finally, we discuss the conditions under which SESAME might be used to probe in-plane structure in thin films and show that the method has advantages for incident neutron angles close to the critical angle because multiple scattering is automatically accounted for.
ASJC Scopus subject areas