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 and only one 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.
The next submission deadline for SINQ proposals will be 15 February 2024! Those proposals are meant to ask for beamtime in cycle I/24 between June - September 2024.
Recent news and scientific highlights:
Magnetic skyrmions, with their distinctive vortex-like magnetic spin configurations, continue to intrigue researchers due to their potential applications in nanoscience and technology. Traditionally skyrmions form two-dimensional hexagonal close-packed lattices, with the skyrmions themselves displaying one of just two types of internal magnetization texture known as Bloch- or Néel-type. Recent theories hinted at the prospect of reconfigurable transitions between skyrmion phases of different lattice types and internal textures. Until now, experimental evidence supporting such theories has been scarce.
Cobalt-free layered perovskites RBaCuFeO5+d (R = 4f lanthanide) as electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction
Co oxides with perovskite-related structure are particularly promising, cost-effective OER catalysts. However, the increasing Co demand by the battery industry is pushing the search for Co-free alternatives. Here we investigate the potential of the Co-free layered perovskite family RBaCuFeO5+δ (R = 4f lanthanide), where we identify the critical structural and electronic variables leading to high OER catalytical performance. The employed methodology, based in the use of advanced neutron and X-ray synchrotron techniques combined with ab initio DFT calculations allowed to reveal LaBaCuFeO5+δ as new, promising Co-free electroctalyst. Moreover, we could show that this material can be industrially produced in nanocrystalline form. We believe that the reported results and methodology may contribute to the implementation of new technologies aimed to generate energy with lower carbon emissions, and can also inspire the scientific community in their search of other Co-free materials with good OER electrocatalytical properties.
PSI researchers make physical and chemical changes in batteries visible.
Integrative solution structure of PTBP1-IRES complex reveals strong compaction and ordering with residual conformational flexibility
RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are crucial regulators of gene expression, often composed of defined domains interspersed with flexible, intrinsically disordered regions. Determining the structure of ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes involving such RBPs necessitates integrative structural modeling due to their lack of a single stable state. In this study, we integrate magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, and small-angle scattering data to determine the solution structure of ...
More SINQ highlights can be found on the Webpages of the NUM Division.