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.
SINQ neutron guide upgrade:
Presently, SINQ undergoes a major upgrade program of its neutron guide system. Therefore the operation has been paused from January 2019 until mid 2020 and we expect a restart of SINQ in summer 2020. The first call for proposals for beamtime in 2020 passed already and the results have been sent out to the users in early May. After the COVID-19 crisis we expect first external SINQ users from September 1, 2020.
Latest scientific SINQ highlights:
We have used neutron spectroscopy to investigate the spin dynamics of the quantum (S=1/2) antiferromagnetic Ising chains in RbCoCl3. The structure and magnetic interactions in this material conspire to produce two magnetic phase transitions at low temperatures, presenting an ideal opportunity for thermal control of the chain environment. The high-resolution spectra we measure ...
Phase boundary dynamics of bubble flow in a thick liquid metal layer under an applied magnetic field
We investigate argon bubble flow in liquid gallium within a container large enough to avoid wall effects. Flow with and without applied horizontal magnetic field is studied. We demonstrate the successful capture and quantification of the effects of applied magnetic field using dynamic neutron radiography and the previously developed and validated robust image processing pipeline, supported by the in silico reproduction of our experiment.
Perovskite oxynitride materials can act as effective photocatalysts for water splitting driven by visible light. A combined neutron and x-ray study now provides unique insight into the underlying processes at the solid–liquid interface and highlights how solar-to-hydrogen conversion can be improved.
More SINQ highlights can be found on the Webpages of the NUM Division.