The International Society for Neutron Radiology ISNR was founded in 1996 with the aim of organizing regular conferences focusing on the use of neutrons for imaging purposes. During the 11th World Conference on Neutron Radiography, held recently in Sydney (Australia) and organized by ANSTO, the Honorary Membership of ISNR was awarded to Eberhard Lehmann - in recognition of his contributions for the progress in the field of neutron imaging on national and international level. The Neutron Imaging and Activation Group NIAG of the LNS has been active member in ISNR from the very beginning. Presently and since 2014, Markus Strobl the head of NIAG is vice-president elected of ISNR – and was recently reelected until 2022. In addition, NIAG member Pavel Trtik is now representing PSI in the ISNR board until 2022.
Dr. Shang Gao, former PhD student at the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging LNS, was awarded the Young Scientist Prize of the Swiss Neutron Scattering Society for his high quality thesis and neutron scattering investigation leading to the discovery of a spiral spin-liquid state in the compound MnSc2S4 and of fast monopole hopping rates in the spin-ice compounds CdEr2X4. The prize is sponsored by Swiss Neutronics and is awarded annualy to a young scientist in recognition of a notable scientific achievement in the form of a PhD thesis. The photo shows Shang together with the SGN president Prof. Henrik Ronnow during the prize ceremony.
Gesara Bimashofer, PhD student of the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging at PSI, was awarded the best poster prize at the 2018 Polarized Neutrons in Condensed Matter Investigations Conference held in Abingdon, UK. Supervised by Dr. Jochen Stahn and in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Thomas Lippert, she studies reversible magnetoelectric switching by electrochemical lithium intercalation for La1-xSrxMnO3 using the reflectometer Amor at the SINQ facility at PSI. This work is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNF.
Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, the University of Basel and the company F. Hoffmann-La Roche have found out why proper storage is crucial for syringes which are pre-filled with a liquid medication. Thanks to the special, well established neutron imaging capability at the neutron source SINQ at PSI, it's clear: The liquid medication can inadvertently get from the syringe cylinder into the metal needle prior to administration when the pre-filled syringe is stored at adversely high temperatures. This study has once again demonstrated that neutron imaging is a powerful tool. The technique has furthered the understanding of needle clogging phenomena. It thus contributes to the future development and the reliable use of pre-filled syringes as drug containers.
The ABB facility in Wettingen, Aargau, got practical recommendations on increasing output in the manufacture of ceramic components. The ceramics in question are voltage-dependent resistors used in overvoltage protectors – a kind of lightning protection system – for example in electrical transmission lines. Researchers of the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI examined the components by means of neutron imaging. With the help of these images, ABB employees were able to see where there was potential for further process optimisation. This investigation took place within the framework of a feasibility study funded by Hightech Zentrum Aargau.
To take full advantage of the upcoming European Spallation Source facility ESS, strategic funding has been allocated to rebuild and expand the Swedish neutron scattering community. One of the most important actions is the establishment of the Swedish national graduate school in neutron scattering (SwedNess). Up to 40 PhD students will be fully funded, employed and trained within this school. In the end of September 2017, the first 20 PhD students arrived at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the Swiss Spallation Neutron Source (SINQ) for their very first hands-on training in neutron scattering. During their week at PSI the SwedNess students obtained specific training in neutron reflectometry as well as neutron and x-ray imaging. The training was very much appreciated by the students and PSI looks forward to welcoming them back in a near future as scientific users of the SINQ neutron facility.
Prof. Dr. Michel Kenzelmann has been appointed as new head of the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging LNS starting on July 1, 2017. Michel received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford before he moved to NIST and John Hopkins University as postdoctoral fellow. In 2004 he joined PSI as an SNF Professor and became head of the NUM laboratory LDM in 2008. Since 2014 Michel holds a titular professorship at the University of Basel. The NUM department also thanks Christof Niedermayer cordially for leading the laboratory ad interim for the last six months.
In 1997 the Swiss spallation neutron source SINQ started its user operation. PSI has celebrated the 20th anniversary of SINQ with a scientific symposium on April 18, 2017 together with many colleagues from Switzerland and abroad. At the symposium it was not only looked back at past achievements, also recent scientific highlights were presented as well as the SINQ neutron guide and instrument upgrade program that will make SINQ fit for the next 20 years. Finally, the symposium also marked the change of the NUM Division Head from Kurt N. Clausen to Christian Rüegg.
Prof. Dr. Christof Niedermayer has been appointed as new head (ad interim) of the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging LNS from January 1, 2017 on. Christof studied physics and received his PhD at the University of Konstanz/DE. He spent his postdoctoral fellowship at Vancouver University in Canada before returning back to Konstanz for his habilitation. In 2002 Christof joined the LNS as instrument scientist being responsible for the Triple-Axis Spectrometer RITA-II at SINQ. Since 2011 he is head of the LNS spectroscopy group. In addition, he holds a professorship at the University of Konstanz since 2013.
Prof. Dr. Christian Rüegg has been appointed as new head of the division NUM (Research with Neutrons and Muons) starting on January 1, 2017. Christian studied Physics at ETH Zurich, performed his PhD thesis at the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and received his PhD in 2005. After that he moved to the London Centre for Nanotechnology of University College and Imperial College London, first as a PostDoc, later as Royal Society University Research Fellow, Lecturer and Reader. Since 2011 Christian was head of the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging (LNS) within NUM. Furthermore he is full professor at the University of Geneva. Christian will succeed Kurt Clausen, who will retire after 13 years as head of the NUM division.
Dr. Gergely Nagy from the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging LNS was awarded the Young Talents Award at the 7th International Conference on “Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability” held in Pushchino, Russia. The award recognizes his achievements about the “Structure and Dynamics of Photosynthetic Membranes as Studied by Neutron Scattering”.
Urs Gasser submitted his habilitation at the University of Konstanz last year and held his inaugural lecture 31st May 2016. Now two of the senior members of LNS are teaching in Konstanz. Urs is responsible for the small angle instrument SANS-II at SINQ and his research focuses on fundamental aspects in soft condensed matter physics, in particular the rich behavior of polymers and colloidal suspensions.
Dr. Andrea Scotti from the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging, now Postdoc at RWTH Aachen, will receive the Young Scientist Prize of the Swiss Neutron Scattering Society SGN sponsored by Swiss Neutronics at the Annual Meeting 2016 of the Swiss Physical Society in Lugano. Andrea was awarded the SGN Prize for his PhD work on self-healing and phase behavior of soft particle suspensions supervised by Dr. Urs Gasser.Shang Gao from the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging was awarded the Best Poster Prize at the International Conference on Strongly Correlated Electron Systems SCES 2016 in Hangzou, China. Shang presented the discovery of spin ice physics in CdEr2Se4 with spinel structure, which is a part of his PhD project on quantum frustration funded by SNF.
F. Groitl et al., Review of Scientific Instruments 87, 035109 (2016). Following extensive optimization and prototyping the CAMEA project, a joint venture between LNS (PSI) and the Laboratory for Quantum Magnetism (EPFL), enters its next stage. The design is finalized, procurement has started and assembly at the current cold triple-axis spectrometer RITA-2 will start in 2017. The innovative multiplexing design employs a series of upward-scattering arcs of analyzer crystals combined with an array of position sensitive 3He detectors. The chosen configuration allows for a continuous final energy coverage from 3.2 to 5.1 meV and a quasi-continuous angular coverage of 60° resulting in tremendous gains in data collection rates. In a single data acquisition several constant-energy lines (~3000 data points) in the horizontal scattering plane are recorded and a simple sample rotation scan generates several constant-energy maps. The instrument is optimized for in-plane scattering and particularly suited for parametric studies under extreme conditions. The project is financed by the R’Equip program of the Swiss National Science Foundation, EPF Lausanne and PSI.
The publication "Lattice dynamics of α-cristobalite and the Boson peak in silica glass" by Björn Wehinger, Alexeï Bosak, Keith Refson, Alessandro Mirone, Aleksandr Chumakov and Michael Krisch, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 27, 305401 (2015), marks a decisive step in the solution of the longstanding problem understanding the origin of the Boson peak in silica glass. The investigation by means of diffuse and inelastic x-ray scattering and lattice dynamics calculations from first principles allow for a direct comparison of the atomic motion in crystalline silica polymorphs and silica glass. The article was selected to illustrate the cover page of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, Vol. 27, Nr. 30. The animation shows the intensity distribution of thermal diffuse scattering in 3D reciprocal space.
BIFROST, designed by a Swiss-Danish team with scientists from LNS and the EPFL, is a pioneering crystal analyser spectrometer optimised to study dynamics in quantum materials and matter under extreme conditions. BIFROST is an indirect time-of-flight spectrometer and offers an unprecedented flux of up to 2 x 1010 neutrons/s/cm2 on the sample position, energy resolution superior to cold triple-axis spectrometers and a polarization analysis option.
Shang Gao, PhD student of the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging at PSI, was awarded the best poster prize at the 2015 International Conference on Magnetism held in Barcelona. Supervised by Dr. Oksana Zaharko and Prof. Dr. Christian Rüegg, he studied the spin correlations in the frustrated spinel MnSc2S4 using facilities at SINQ of PSI and at FRM2. Phase transitions involving a novel incommensurate magnetic structure have been unveiled. This work is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNF, grant on Quantum Frustration in Model Magnets.
Dr. Jonas Okkels Birk of the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging LNS, wins the Young Scientist Prize of the Swiss Neutron Scattering Society SGN/SSDN. The award recognizes his outstanding PhD work on neutron instrumentation in the CAMEA project. The SGN Young Scientist Prize is awarded annually to a young scientist in recognition of a notable scientific achievement and is sponsored by SwissNeutronics.
Students from the Department of Quantum Matter Physics (DQMP) at the University of Geneva were visiting PSI and its large-scale facilities SINQ, SμS, SLS and SwissFEL. DQMP and PSI have two joint professors in the area of experimental condensed matter physics: Prof. Felix Baumberger and Prof. Christian Rüegg, head of LNS.
ESTIA, designed by Jochen Stahn of the LNS, is one of the instruments approved for construction at the European Spallation Source ESS. ESTIA will deliver 100 times more neutrons to thin film samples, functional heterostructures, and functional devices. Data from ESTIA are expected to help improving the design and optimization of materials used in a wide variety of devices for sensor technology, energy and data storage, and electronics.
The Neutron Imaging and Activation Group (NIAG) within the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging organized the 10th World Conference on Neutron Radiography in Grindelwald in October with great success. More than 170 experts from 29 countries discussed latest results and developments in this promising research field. A good balance between facility operators and users of neutron imaging beam lines was found. Upcoming new installations for neutron imaging at the pulsed spallation sources provide further high motivation and progress. Three persons from NIAG were elected to be Board Members of the International Society for Neutron Radiology for the next four years: Anders Kaestner, Christian Grünzweig und Eberhard Lehmann.
Am 28.-29. November 2014 veranstaltet das PSI in Zusammenarbeit mit der Schweizerischen Physikalischen Gesellschaft SPG eine Fortbildung für Physiklehrer. Die zweitägige Veranstaltung steht unter dem Motto "Moderne Aspekte der Physik kondensierter Materie". Ausgewiesene Experten werden in verschiedenen Fachvorträgen das Thema selbst sowie verschiedene Untersuchungsmethoden vorstellen. Ein Besuch der Grossforschungsanlagen des PSI, des Schülerlabors iLab sowie eine Podiumsdiskussion zum Thema "Aktuelle Themen der Physikdidaktik" runden die Veranstaltung ab. Weitere Informationen sowie eine online-Anmeldung finden Sie hier.
Saumya Mukherjee, PhD student of the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging at PSI, wins the Euro Physics Letters best poster prize award at the annual SPS meeting 2014 for his work on strain induced coupling between ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity in orthorhombic LuMnO3 thin films. The films are grown by pulsed laser deposition at the materials group of the Division of General Energy at PSI. The properties of o-LuMnO3 thin films are studied at the large scale facilities of PSI using magnetic neutron diffraction, polarized neutron reflectometry, muon spin rotation spectroscopy and others. (Photo: A. Weis)
Dr. Simon Gerber, former PhD student at the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging LNS, wins the Young Scientist Prize of the Swiss Neutron Scattering Society SGN/SSDN. He has been awarded for his PhD work entitled Interplay of Unconventional Superconductivity and Magnetism in CeCoIn5. Simon received the prize from the president of SGN/SSDN Prof. Henrik Ronnow at the annual meeting of the Swiss Physical Society in Fribourg. The prize is awarded for outstanding scientific achievements presented in a PhD work and is sponsored by SwissNeutronics. (Photo: Swiss Physical Society)
At the recent μSR 2014 conference, Dr. Martin Mansson of the LNS/PSI and LQM/EPF Lausanne, has been announced as the new Vice-President Europe of the International Society for μSR Spectroscopy (ISMS). Martin is co-responsible for the triple-axis spectrometer TASP at SINQ and uses a combination of experimental techniques including μSR for his research on strongly correlated electron and energy materials.
As a result of two years of intense development and design work at PSI, EPF Lausanne, and further partner institutes in Denmark, four instruments were presented to the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Spallation Neutron Source (ESS). The proposals include an extreme environment spectrometer, a pioneering reflectometer optimized for functional thin-film devices, a small-angle neuron scattering instrument for biology, and a diffractometer for multiple-length scales structural studies. A fifth instrument with Swiss contribution, a neutron imaging instrument, was selected for construction already last year. The Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) supports ESS activities in Switzerland.
The annual meeting of the Swiss Physical Society (SPS) will take place June 30 - July 2, 2014 at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. At this meeting the Swiss Neutron Scattering Society (SGN/SSDN) is organising a focussed session on 'Frontier Experiments with Neutrons'. It will cover both scientific highlights and frontiers in instrumentation and source development. We particularly encourage abstract submissions from young scientists who use neutron scattering as an experimental tool for their research, whatever the topic. In this way, we will be able to present the full range of interests of the Swiss neutron scattering community. The SGN/SSDN will also award its thesis medal during the session. Deadline for abstract submission is March 15, 2014. For further questions please contact the SGN organisers Tom Fennell and Martin Mansson.
The construction of a new single-crystal diffractometer ZEBRA will start in 2014. This new SINQ instrument will achieve high peak-to-background ratio and will host extreme sample environments. New optimised neutron delivery system (primary instrument) and new nonmagnetic high-precision sample-positioning and analyser-detector units (secondary instrument) will be built on the position of the present TriCS instrument. The project is financed by the R’Equip program of the Swiss National Science Foundation and PSI.
On Monte Verita in the Centro Stefano Franscini of ETH Zurich, the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering co-organized an international workshop together with colleagues from EPF Lausanne and PSI. The workshop on Mott Physics Beyond the Heisenberg Model (MPBH 2013) is part of the education and networking activities of a SNF Sinergia grant on the same topic in which 7 groups at EPFL and PSI cooperate. In connection with this year’s workshop Master Classes on spin-orbit coupling and neutron diffraction were organized at PSI for PhD students.
As joint venture with the Laboratory for Quantum Magnetism LQM of Prof. H.M. Ronnow at EPF Lausanne, construction of the new spectrometer CAMEA (Continuous Angle Multiple Energy Analyzer) has started, which will be installed as option at the current RITA-2 instrument at SINQ. This new spectrometer will be particularly suited for parametric studies under extreme conditions requiring restrictive sample environments such as high magnetic field magnets or pressure cells, and for experiments on small samples of novel materials. The novelty of the CAMEA design is that it employs a series of several upward-scattering analyzer arcs. This design allows each analyzer to collect neutrons over different energy ranges and a large solid angle that are measured simultaneously by position sensitive detectors. In a single data acquisition an entire constant-energy line in the horizontal scattering plane is recorded for a quasi-continuous angular coverage with tremendous gains in data collection rates. The project is financed by the R’Equip program of the Swiss National Science Foundation, EPF Lausanne and PSI.
May 27-29, 2013, at the Paul Scherrer Institute. Finite fossil fuel reserves and growing environmental concerns have lead to an increase of interest in so-called renewable energy sources such as wind, solar or water energy. Consequently, the conversion and storage of energy and the supply of synthetic fuels will become more and more important in the near future. This symposium will bring together experts from the fields energy research and scientists from the neutron scattering community. In the context of this symposium energy research will refer to synthetic fuels, solar cells, fuel cells and batteries and materials for turbines (wind and/or water). Emphasis will be put on sample environment, in particular for in-situ and operando experiments; on correlations between structure and transport processes, on interactions of materials with their ambient environment; and on synergies with synchrotron radiation and muon spin spectroscopy. The symposium will cover all topics from diffraction to spectroscopy and imaging.
On April 25, Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences honored Dr. Meile Luksiene by a memorial plaque that was unveiled by Dalia Grybauskaite, the President of Lithuania. Ramunas Skaudzius, recipient of the second Meile Luksiene Prize by the Ministry of Education of Lithuania, gave a speech at the ceremony. He is a PhD student working on garnet materials in the Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry at Vilnius University and is spending a year at the LNS learning neutron diffraction. His stay is supported by a SCIEX Fellowship from the Swiss Government with the aim to foster scientific exchange with the new member states of the European Union.
Switzerland is a partner of the European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund, Sweden. This next generation neutron source will be operational with its first instruments in 2019. The design concept for an industry oriented hybrid diffractometer is part of the in-kind contributions to the ESS by the Swiss-Danish instrumentation team (ESS++). The Laboratory for Neutron Scattering at PSI is therefore opening a two year position for a Postdoctoral Fellow in the field of Diffraction and Instrument Design. (closed for applications)
Switzerland is a partner of the European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund, Sweden. This next generation neutron source will become operational with its first instruments in 2019. The Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and the Laboratory for Developments and Methods at PSI are partners in the Swiss-Danish ESS++ instrumentation consortium and are opening five Post-Doc positions in the fields of Small Angle Neutron Scattering, Reflectometry, Spectroscopy, Diffraction and Neutron Optics. (closed for applications)
Christian Rüegg, head of the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering at PSI, wins the Erwin Felix Lewy-Bertaut prize for his work on low-dimensional quantum spin systems and quantum phase transitions. The prize is awarded jointly by the European Crystallographic Association ECA and the European Neutron Scattering Association ENSA to a young scientist in memoriam of Erwin Felix Lewy-Bertaut, who was one of the pioneers in Europe investigating atomic and magnetic structures by neutron and X-ray diffraction. Christian received the prize from the chairman of ENSA Prof. Michael Steiner (Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin) at the European Neutron Scattering Conference ECNS in Prague in July 2011.
Dr Christian Rüegg has been appointed as new head of the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering, starting on Feb 1, 2011.