Phone Number

Email Address

You are here:
  • Home
  • Techniques
  • X-ray Reflectivity (XRR)
  • X-ray Reflectivity (XRR)

    X-ray reflectance (XRR) is a surface-sensitive analysis technique used in chemistry, physics, and materials science to characterize surfaces, thin films, and multilayer films. Specifically, X-rays are used to detect electron density perpendicular to the surface to obtain information about surface roughness, film thickness and density. XRR is considered to be one of the main methods for measuring film thickness and surface roughness due to its non-destructive, high-precision and fast measurement speed.

    X-ray Reflectivity (XRR)

    The basic principle of XRR

    • X-rays are reflected and refracted on the surface of the sample.
    • The refracted light enters the inside of the sample, and refraction and reflection occur at the interface between the film and the substrate or next layer.
    • The two reflected beams interfere, producing interference fringes.

    X-ray Reflectivity (XRR)


    • It is a very sensitive technology to the surface of the material
    • Non-destructive
    • Nanoscale measurement
    • Crystal and amorphous materials

    XRR can measure the thickness, roughness and density of:

    • Thin films
    • Coatings
    • Multi-layers
    • Superlattices
    • Crystalline and amorphous films

    What kind of information can XRR provide?

    • Thin film thickness: 0.1 nm-1000 nm
    • Material density: <1-2%
    • Surface and interface roughness: <3-5 nm

    Requirements for samples in XRR measurement

    • Flat sample surface, no structure in two-dimensional direction
    • Sample surface roughness <5 nm
    • There are significant differences in material or electron density between the film and the substrate, or between different films.
    • Along the direction of the X-ray, the sample length is at least 3-5 mm.

    Application cases

    • Analysis of thickness, density and surface roughness of ZnO-based thin Films. The reflection intensity of monolayer ZnO-based films deposited on SiO2 glass substrate by magnetron sputtering was measured by XRR, and the curve of reflection intensity varying with the grazing incident angle was obtained. The thickness, density and surface roughness of the films were obtained by fitting the curve.
    • Evaluation of the density of Au thin films.
    • Measurement of structural parameters of Bismuth superconducting thin films.

    In conclusion, T,C&A Lab can offer XRR services that can solve materials testing related problem. Finally, please complete the form to have an expert discuss your needs.


    1. Thomas, Candice. Strained HgTe/CdTe topological insulators, toward spintronic applications. Diss. Université Grenoble Alpes (ComUE), 2016.

    Note: this service is for Research Use Only and Not intended for clinical use.

    T,C & A LAB is an independent lab providing quality or custom testing, characterization and analysis of a variety of materials. Our engaged experts are ready to help you.

    Request A Quote