Mission Statement


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.

The Paul Scherrer Institute with SINQ is the national provider of large-scale infrastructure for neutron scattering, consisting of a powerful 1 MW spallation neutron source, of state-of-the-art instruments for research using neutron spectroscopy, diffraction, small angle scattering, reflectometry and imaging, and of advanced sample environment. The LNS supports the user program at SINQ, with more than 400 users and experiments every year, and welcomes active collaborations especially with groups at Swiss universities and internationally with the aim to advance the method and its application in new fields. As a center of competence in neutron scattering technology in Switzerland, the LNS contributes to the design of the European Spallation Source ESS in Lund (Sweden) (press release), which is a next generation spallation source with unprecedented neutron flux and limitless potential to produce world-class science.

The study of quantum spin systems and of the opportunities and limitations for their application in future IT devices; research into the functionalities of complex lipid membranes and their use for triggered drug release; and investigations of the structures of novel materials containing Li ions and their in-situ storage properties as key components in intelligent energy grids are three examples for fundamental and more applied research projects by the LNS and its national and international users. The results of these studies are presented in numerous publications in scientific journals, talks at conferences and contributions to workshops.

Education and training of students is an important part of our mission. The large group of PhD students at the LNS, a dozen from 7 different countries, is involved at all levels of these research projects and often they joined the LNS earlier for a Master project (teaching and education). They profit from direct access to the instruments at SINQ and to other local research facilities, from interactions with experienced senior scientists, which are world-leading experts in their respective fields, and from the multi-disciplinary environment at the Paul Scherrer Institute. Please get in touch if you are interested in a project.