Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry

X-ray and Neutron Structural Analysis

The department is incorporated into the NMR Spectroscopy (since 1. 7. 2023 Structural analysis) department since 1 January 2021.


The aim of the Laboratory is to provide structural analysis utilizing the scattering of X-rays in small and wide angles. Our state-of-the-art equipment and technologies are mainly focused on research of new polymers and of polymer-based composites.

In many aspects, the structure of materials is related to their properties. Utilizing the X-ray diffraction and scattering, we are non-destructively analyzing the materials to provide scientists with the knowledge of internal structure and thus strengthen their research.


Research Scope

The following research methods are available in the Laboratory of X-ray Structural Analysis:

  1. X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) is a non-destructive analytical technique used for phase identification of crystalline or polycrystalline material. It can provide information about crystal structure, atomic spacing and unit cell dimensions. In the case of polymeric materials, it is commonly used to determine the degree of crystallinity and phase ratio identification, based on the diffraction pattern.
  2. Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) is a widely used technique to investigate 3D structures within a broad range of sizes from about 1 nm up to 100 nm. With the latest development of advanced X-ray sources and detectors, it became a major tool for comprehensive characterization of macromolecules and nanostructured materials. From the evaluation of scattering profile, the following information can be obtained: particle shape, size and size distribution; internal structure parameters like the size of the core or pore sizes; degree of swelling; particle’s molecular weight; specific surface area.
  3. X-ray reflectivity (XRR) is a surface-sensitive analytical technique that results in the electron density profile of a material. It is widely used to characterize thin films, including multilayers and their interfaces.
  4. Grazing-Incidence Small Angle X-ray Scattering (GISAXS) is a scientific method for detecting and characterization of organized structures in thin films. Being in most cases a complementary technique, it overcomes some limitations of direct imaging techniques, such as AFM, TEM and SEM.

The laboratory possesses a range of tools for X-ray characterization of structural properties of a wide range of materials, including:

  • Block copolymers in solutions
  • Polymer-based composites
  • Self-organizing micelles
  • Biodegradable polymer systems
  • Crystalline and semicrystalline polymers
  • Thermoresponsive polymers
  • Systems based on boron clusters
  • Materials for electronics and optoelectronic applications
  • Polymer-based thin films

Carbohydr. Polym. (2020)

Polymer (2019)

Colloids Surf. A Physicochem. Eng. Asp. (2018)

Macromol. Chem. Phys. (2018)

J. Mater. Chem. C (2017)



  • Faculty of Science, Charles University, Czech Republic (Boron clusters)
  • Department of Bioorganic Compounds and Nanocomposites, Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the CAS, Czech Republic (Dendrimers)
  • Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the CAS, Czech Republic (Nano-crystals)
  • The Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics of the CAS, Czech Republic (Carbon structures)
  • Department of Organic Technology, University of Chemistry and Technology, Czech Republic (Liposomes)
  • Department of Inorganic Technology, University of Chemistry and Technology, Czech Republic (Nafion®)

Funding support

  • Czech Science Foundation: Study of structural properties of surface modified long-range organized polymer thin films (A. Zhigunov, 19‑10982S)