With the advent of third-generation synchrotron sources and the development of fast two-dimensional X-ray detectors, X-ray scattering has become an invaluable tool for in-situ time-resolved experiments. In the case of thin films, grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) constitutes a powerful technique to extract morphological information not only of the thin film surface but also of buried structures with statistical relevance. Thus, recently in-situ GISAXS experiments with subsecond time resolution have enabled investigating the self-assembly processes during vacuum deposition of metallic and organic thin films as well as the structural changes of polymer and colloidal thin films in the course of wet deposition. Moreover, processing of thin films has also been investigated in-situ employing GISAXS. In this chapter, we review the current trends of time-resolved GISAXS studies. After an introduction to the GISAXS technique, we present exemplary results of metallic and organic thin film preparation, wet deposition of polymer thin films and self-assembly of colloidal thin films, as well as examples of thin film modification in, e.g., microfluidic channels and within working devices. Finally, an overview of the future perspectives in the field is provided.
Part of the book: X-ray Scattering