Neutron reflectometer Amor at SINQ receives the ESS MultiBlade detector

ESS MultiBlade detector development

Since October 2023, the upgraded neutron reflectometer Amor uses the ESS MultiBlade detector. The MultiBlade was developed by the ESS detector group, under the lead of Francesco Piscitelli, for the reflectometers Estia and Freia and the test beam-line at the ESS. Previous versions of this detector were tested and improved on Amor over the past 4 years. The MultiBlade detector consists of a stack of boron-10 coated blades, inclined with respect to the beam. This approach leads to a resolution of 0.5 mm in one direction and makes the set-up modular so that any angular range in the scattering plane can be covered. At Amor this means some 2 degrees, or an active height of 140 mm, with a width of 260 mm.

Photograph of the ESS MultiBlade detector installed on the Amor reflectometer at SINQ.

Improved performances for Amor

First performance tests and usage during normal operation confirmed expectations, and showed that even the full direct beam does not saturate the detector or read out electronics. For comparison, the old helium-3 detector had a resolution of 2.6 mm and could handle at most two orders of magnitude less intensity.

The ESS MultiBlade detector will stay on Amor for mutual benefits: Amor has a brilliant detector, and the ESS detector group and the software centre will use it for long time performance tests and to investigate possible future improvements.


Dr. Jochen Stahn
Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging
Paul Scherrer Institute, Forschungsstrasse 111, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland