SAXS/WAXS measurements enable the determination of the characteristic dimensions and the semi-crystalline structure of Bombyx mori cocoon silk fibers.
The excellent mechanical properties of silk fibers made them of great practical interest. However, relations between the macromolecular structure and the functional properties are far from being understood. More specifically hierarchical models are available and Small Angle / Wide Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS/WAXS) is the ideal technique to study such samples. It allows the investigation of structural parameters such as the crystallite size and orientation, which influence the strength of the silk.