SINQ: The Swiss Spallation Neutron Source
Neutron scattering is one of the most effective ways to obtain information on both, the structure and the dynamics of condensed matter. A wide scope of problems, ranging from fundamental to solid state physics and chemistry, and from materials science to biology, medicine and environmental science, can be investigated with neutrons. Aside from the scattering techniques, non-diffractive methods like imaging techniques can also be applied with increasing relevance for industrial applications.
The spallation neutron source SINQ is a continuous source - the first of its kind in the world - with a flux of about 1014 n/cm2/s. Beside thermal neutrons, a cold moderator of liquid deuterium (cold source) slows neutrons down and shifts their spectrum to lower energies. These neutrons have proved to be particularly valuable in materials research and in the investigation of biological substances. SINQ is a user facility. Interested groups can apply for beamtime on the various instruments by using the SINQ proposal system.
After the annual shutdown SINQ resumed operation again in mid April 2021. The call for proposals II-21 (period September-December 2021) ended on May 15 with almost 280 new proposals. The panel meetings will be in June 2021.
Latest scientific SINQ highlights:
PbMO3 (M = 3d transition metals) family shows systematic variations in charge distribution and intriguing physical properties due to its delicate energy balance between Pb 6s and transition metal 3d orbitals. However, the detailed structure and physical properties of PbFeO3 remain unclear. Herein, we reveal that PbFeO3 crystallizes into an unusual 2ap × 6ap × 2ap orthorhombic perovskite super unit cell with space group Cmcm.
Decomposing Magnetic Dark-Field Contrast in Spin Analyzed Talbot-Lau Interferometry: A Stern-Gerlach Experiment without Spatial Beam Splitting
We have recently shown how a polarized beam in Talbot-Lau interferometric imaging can be used to analyze strong magnetic fields through the spin dependent differential phase effect at field gradients. While in that case an adiabatic spin coupling with the sample field is required, here we investigate a nonadiabatic coupling causing a spatial splitting of the neutron spin states with respect to the external magnetic field. This subsequently leads to no phase contrast signal but a loss of interferometer visibility referred to as dark-field contrast.
The interplay between oxygen and spin ordering for the low oxygen doped Nd2NiO4.10 has been investigated by single-crystal neutron diffraction. We find a coexistence of the magnetic order below TN with the 3D ordering of excess oxygen atoms, which has not been previously observed for the homologous nickelates. Moreover, the magnetic ordering modulation vectors are no longer independent and exactly follow the modulation vectors of the oxygen ordering.
More SINQ highlights can be found on the Webpages of the NUM Division.