Sample Environments

To fullfil the large variety of experimental needs of the users we have given high priority to a maximum versatility of the sample environment. One standard sample set-up is a sample table with x,y,z,w positioning plus (q)-goniometer. On this table various sample environments can be mounted and positioned. For biological and chemical samples we supply a sample changer for cuevettes and solid samples which can be temperature controlled between +5°C and +150°C. We have realised a high pressure cell for liquids up to 5 kbar. Furthermore, the sample table has also be used to position special equipment of the users, like a cryomagnet or a special holder for holographic gratings, rheometers, etc.

A second sample set-up is a vacuum chamber, which is directly connected to the collimator and detector tubes, so that the SANS can be operated at about 5 x 10-2 mbar in a single vacuum system without windows. If better vacuum down to 10-6 mbar or ambient pressure is needed at the sample position, it is possible to insert thin aluminium or sapphire windows at the entrance and exit of the chamber. The chamber is large enough to carry an electromagnet and a sample changer with an optional heated sample position up to 750°C is available.

All standard sample environments are fully remotely controlled by the SINQ instrument control software SICS which enables the user to run automatic scans in his experiments.

Sample Environments
sample table x-y-z-ω positioning plus an optional (θ)-goniometer , all axes are remote controled
vacuum chamber
  • operation at about 5 x 10-2 mbar in a single vacuum system without windows
  • at 10-6 mbar or ambient pressure it is possible to insert thin aluminium or sapphire windows at the entrance and exit of the chamber
  • chamber is large enough to carry an electromagnet
sample holder for working in air
high pressure cell
high temperature precision
temperature controlled sample changer (MFU)
  • electromagnet matches into vacuum chamber and can operate either under vacuum condition or at ambient pressure
  • flexible pole gap, pole gap width between 30 mm and 145 mm
  • pole diameter of 205 mm (also tapered pole caps available soon)
  • H=1.1 Tesla perpendicular to the neutron beam
  • sample holder for solid and liquid samples
  • only one sample position
  • for zero field measurements the permanent magnet can be taken out of the holder
activated samples Users who whish using this setup have to contact the instrument responsible J. Kohlbrecher ( first, before submitting their proposals to SINQ
sample changer for vacuum chamber
11 Tesla Cryomagnet B < 11 Tesla, 1.5 K > T > 300 K
Fig b1, Fig b2
Additional Features
digital video camera versatile digital video camera which can be used to monitor the setup during the measurements|
multifunctional data acquisition
  • A PC + National instruments PCI-6014 basic multifunctional data acquisition card + BNC-2120 connector block is available at the sample environment.
  • Specifications: 200 kS/s, 16-Bit, 8 Analog Input (with connections for a thermocouples and 4-wire resistors) , 2 analog outputs, 8 digital I/O lines, two 24-bit counters, digital triggering.
  • An overview of the available connections can be found here.
  • On the PC a server program is running that can communicate with the main SANS server (SICS). This allows for sending or receiving analogue and digital signals in synchronisation with the SANS measurements. The communication between the PC and the connector block is programmed in a LabView (version 6.1) environment.
  • Typical applications: sending trigger signals, read out temperature or another user-pecific parameters, data-logging, ...
  • Users who are interested in the feature should contact instrument responsible to check whether their application is feasible.