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 has already passed and the results have been sent out to the users in early May.
Latest scientific SINQ highlights:
The ancient purple pigment used to paint the terracotta warriors, BaCuSi2O6, is also a quantum magnetic material which consists of stacked Cu2+ bilayers hosting spin dimers. Magnetometry and NMR experiments have revealed puzzling critical phenomena at the quantum phase transition (QPT) caused by an applied magnetic field, which suggest that the universal behaviour of the system is not three- but only two-dimensional. By performing high-resolution neutron spectroscopy measurements .....
The first application of stroboscopic neutron diffraction to studying lithium-ion batteries during operation establishes a new approach to unravelling the complex processes playing out in energy-storage materials.
LaTiOxNy oxynitride thin films are employed to study the surface modifications at the solid- liquid interface that occur during photoelectrocatalytic water splitting. Neutron reflectometry and grazing incidence x-ray absorption spectroscopy were utilised to distinguish between the surface and bulk signals, with a surface sensitivity of 3 nm.
More SINQ highlights can be found on the Webpages of the NUM Division.