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College Park, Maryland      June 6 - 10 , 2004

WP76: NCNR reflectometry software

P.A. Kienzle (NIST Center for Neutron Research; University of Maryland, College Park), K.V. O'Donovan (NIST Center for Neutron Research; University of California at Irvine)

At the NCNR we have been developing a graphical user interface (GUI) for our data reduction and analysis tools. We support the reduction of raw data for monochromatic source neutron and X-ray reflectometry for NCNR data formats. For analysis we use a multi-layer model evaluated using the Parrat formalism. Interfaces are approximated by a series of layers, which allows the interface effects to be computed accurately even for very broad interfaces. Arbitrary constraints between the parameters for the different layers can be programmed by the user. We support polarized beam data, allowing us to reduce and analyze magnetic as well as nuclear effects on reflectivity.

The GUI for reduction strives to be flexible while conveniently supporting the common operations required for selection and manipulation of the data. The GUI for analysis is distinct from others in that it allows direct manipulation of the scattering length density profile rather than entering layer parameters by hand. Our software is based on an underlying scripting language (Tcl/Tk) with direct access available within the program. For those cases where the GUI has not anticipated the needs of the user, the user is free to modify data from the console without abandoning the entire GUI. Thus our software is suited both to the new user performing standard measurements as well as the expert user performing new types of measurements on our instruments.

Since the introduction of our software at the NCNR, the benefits have been great. Data reduction tasks that used to take hours can now be done in minutes. The results are more reliable since the data is in view at every step in the transformation, which makes instrumental errors easier to detect. Training time for new users is considerably reduced, leading to a more pleasant experience for our users and freeing time for our support staff.

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Last modified 18-May-2004 by website owner: NCNR (attn: Bill Kamitakahara)