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LNS: Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging

The Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging (LNS) at the Paul Scherrer Institute is responsible for the scientific exploitation, operation and development of neutron scattering and imaging instruments at the Swiss Spallation Neutron Source (SINQ). The team of 50 senior scientists, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students further collaborates on diverse research projects ranging from modern topics in condensed matter physics and materials science to pressing questions in energy research and health care. read more

PhD, Master, Bachelor or Semester projects at the LNS

We offer students the possibility to do their PhD or educational research in our lab. See Teaching and Education for detailed information on Master/Diploma thesis, Bachelor/Semester work and practical courses at the LNS. Currently we have open positions for


15. July 2016


Congratulations to PD Dr. Urs Gasser!

Urs Gasser submitted his habilitation at the University of Konstanz last year and held his inaugural lecture 31st May 2016. Now two of the senior members of LNS are teaching in Konstanz. Urs is responsible for the small angle instrument SANS-II at SINQ and his research focuses on fundamental aspects in soft condensed matter physics, in particular the rich behavior of polymers and colloidal suspensions.

1. June 2016


PhD awards for two LNS students

Dr. Andrea Scotti from the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging, now Postdoc at RWTH Aachen, will receive the Young Scientist Prize of the Swiss Neutron Scattering Society SGN sponsored by Swiss Neutronics at the Annual Meeting 2016 of the Swiss Physical Society in Lugano. Andrea was awarded the SGN Prize for his PhD work on self-healing and phase behavior of soft particle suspensions supervised by Dr. Urs Gasser.

Shang Gao from the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging was awarded the Best Poster Prize at the International Conference on Strongly Correlated Electron Systems SCES 2016 in Hangzou, China. Shang presented the discovery of spin ice physics in CdEr2Se4 with spinel structure, which is a part of his PhD project on quantum frustration funded by SNF.

4. May 2016


The role of ions in the self-healing behavior of soft particle suspensions

A. Scotti et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1516011113 (2016). Understanding when a material crystallizes is of fundamental importance in condensed matter. In many materials, the presence of point defects suppresses crystallization. Surprisingly, colloidal hydrogels can overcome this limitation: A small number of large microgels can spontaneously deswell to fit in the crystal lattice of smaller microgels, thus avoiding the occurrence of point defects. We find that this unique particle deswelling is due to an osmotic pressure difference between the inside and the outside of the microgels resulting from the overlap of counterion clouds of neighboring particles. When this pressure difference exceeds the bulk modulus of the large microgels, these shrink, enabling crystallization without point defects.

15. April 2016


Phonon spectroscopy reveals important details of geophysical relevant materials

B. Wehinger et al., Geophysical Research Letters 43 (2016). Using inelastic x-ray scattering and parameter-free calculations the authors provide the first complete and fully consistent lattice dynamics description of MgSiO3-brigmanite, the main constituent of the Earth’s lower mantle and one of the most important Earth’s minerals. The present work constitutes an important milestone fully validating the lattice dynamics calculation against precise experimental evidence and marks a starting point to extend this kind of combined studies to the high-pressure and high-temperature conditions directly relevant for the physical properties and chemical composition of Earth's lower mantle.