EasyReflectometry is designed to be used with a broad range of different items. These items offer flexibility for the user and enable more powerful analysis by making chemical and pysical constraints available with limited code. In this page, we will document the items that are available with simple examples of the constructors that exist. Full API documentation is also available for the EasyReflectometry.sample.item module.


This item should be used for a series of layers that, for whatever reason, should be thought of as a single object. For example, in the simple fitting tutorial this item type is used to combine the silicon and silicon dioxide layer that as formed into a single object. All of the separate layers in these objects will be fitted individually, i.e. there is no constraints present, however, there is some cognative benefit to grouping layers together.

To create a MultiLayer object, we use the following construction.

from EasyReflectometry.sample import Layer, Material
from EasyReflectometry.sample.item import MultiLayer

si = Material.from_pars(2.07, 0, 'Si')
sio2 = Material.from_pars(3.47, 0, 'SiO2')
si_layer = Layer.from_pars(si, 0, 0, 'Si layer')
sio2_layer = Layer.from_pars(sio2, 30, 3, 'SiO2 layer')

subphase = MultiLayer.from_pars([si_layer, sio2_layer],
                                name='Si/SiO2 subphase')

This will create a MultiLayer object named subphase which we can use in some Structure for our analysis.


The RepeatingMultiLayer item type is an extension of the MultiLayer for the analysis of systems with a multilayer that has some number of repeats. This item type imposes some constraints, specifically that all of the repeats have the exact same structure (i.e. thicknesses, roughnesses, and scattering length densities), which brings with it some computational saving as the reflectometry coefficients only needs to be calculated once for this structure and propagated for the correct number of repeats. There is a tutorial that discusses the utilisation of this item type for a nickel-titanium multilayer system.

The creation of a RepeatingMultiLayer object is very similar to that for the MultiLayer, with the addition of a number of repetitions.

from EasyReflectometry.sample import Layer, Material
from EasyReflectometry.sample.item import RepeatingMultiLayer

ti = Material.from_pars(-1.9493, 0, 'Ti')
ni = Material.from_pars(9.4245, 0, 'Ni')
ti_layer = Layer.from_pars(ti, 40, 0, 'Ti Layer')
ni_layer = Layer.from_pars(ni, 70, 0, 'Ni Layer')

ni_ti = RepeatingMultiLayer.from_pars([ti_layer, ni_layer],
                                      name='Ni/Ti MultiLayer')

The number of repeats is a parameter that can be varied in the optimisation process, however given this is a value that depends on the synthesis of the sample this is unlikely to be necessary.


The SurfactantLayer item type allows for the creating of a model to describe a monolayer of surfactant at some interface. Using this item, we can define our surfactant in terms of the chemistry of the head and tail groups and be confident that the constraints are present to ensure the number density if kept constant. The surfactant monolayer tutorial looks in detail at the definition of the scattering length density in the SurfactantLayer. However, it is founded on the chemical formula for the head and tail group and the area per molecule that these groups occupy.

The creation of a SurfactantLayer object takes a large number arguments that are shown below.

from EasyReflectometry.sample import Layer, Material
from EasyReflectometry.sample.item import SurfactantLayer

subphase = Material.from_pars(6.36, 0.0, 'D2O')
superphase = Material.from_pars(0.0, 0.0, 'Air')

head_formula = 'C10H18NO8P'
tail_formula = 'C30D64'
head_thickness = 10.0
tail_thickness = 16.0
head_solvation = 0.2
tail_solvation = 0.0
area_per_molecule = 48
roughness = 3.3

dppc = SurfactantLayer.from_pars(tail_formula, tail_thickness, superphase, tail_solvation,
                                 area_per_molecule, roughness,
                                 head_formula, head_thickness, subphase, head_solvation,
                                 area_per_molecule, roughness)

On creation, the area per molecule and roughness above both the head and tail layers can be constrained to be the same. These constraints can be addded by setting dppc.constrain_apm = True or dppc.conformal_roughness = True. Furthermore, as shown in the monolayer tutorial the conformal roughness can be defined by that of the subphase.

The use of the SurfactantLayer in multiple contrast data analysis is shown in a multiple contrast tutorial.