UK-Netherlands collaboration will build state-of-the-art neutron super-microscope

Jun 25, 2012
Digital impression of the final construction of Lamour

A new neutron super-microscope that will help pave the way for new high-tech materials is under construction at ISIS, the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) world-leading neutron and muon source in Oxfordshire.

The new , called Larmor, will be at the forefront of materials science for engineering, food, health and the natural environment. For example, knowledge gained could play an important role in the development of new high-tech materials for electronic equipment, or in speeding up charging speeds of lithium-ion batteries in electronic vehicles. 

“You can also use the instrument in the study of new molecules that can transport medication to the exact location of a tumour, or for improving the composition of food, such as margarine,” said Professor Katia Pappas, Research Co-ordinator, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft).

Larmor will use beams of neutrons to see the exact positions and movements of atoms inside materials with unprecedented accuracy and resolution.

Additional funding to build the innovative neutron super-microscope at ISIS has been announced from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and a consortium of Netherlands universities led by TU Delft.

The Netherlands funding complements previously secured UK funding for the Larmor instrument announced in March 2011 by David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science. Larmor is one of four instruments being built as a result of this funding for the Phase 2 instrument suite at the second target station at ISIS.

A number of industry supporters have already expressed a strong interest in using this new instrument, including, Tata Steel, SKF Group, NIZO Food Research, M2i (the Dutch materials innovation institute), Unilever, TI Food Nutrition and the Dutch Polymer Institute.

Over the next five years, ISIS will collaborate with the three Netherlands universities to develop this new and unique super-microscope. The £4.5 million UK contribution to Larmor will provide a high-intensity small-angle scattering instrument, whilst the Netherlands contribution will provide components that give state-of-the-art control of neutron beam polarisation. It is this additional apparatus that will significantly improve accuracy and resolution to levels previously unattained. 

“By working closely together we have demonstrated that we are able to build the world’s most advanced instruments and use them to develop a unique understanding of modern materials science,” said Dr. Uschi Steigenberger, ISIS director.

“Recent collaborations between ISIS, TU Delft and NWO have already resulted in the construction of the Offspec reflectometer on the second target station at ISIS. The new Larmor instrument that we will build together will significantly extend the concepts used on Offspec to deliver new experimental capabilities to the scientific and industrial user communities.”

Explore further: New terahertz device could strengthen security

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

First neutrons created at the ISIS Second Target Station

Aug 04, 2008

The UK's ISIS Second Target Station Project moved a major step closer to completion today when the first neutrons were created in the ISIS Second Target Station. After five years of planning and construction, the first neutrons ...

ISIS Second Target Station -- protons on target

Dec 18, 2007

The ISIS Second Target Station Project at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire achieved a major milestone on Friday 14 December, at the first attempt and two days ahead of schedule. Protons were successfully ...

Building blocks of life

Oct 01, 2007

The £140 million construction of the ISIS Second Target Station at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire is nearing completion. The largest science construction project in the UK, it is on time and on budget.

Recommended for you

New terahertz device could strengthen security

Nov 21, 2014

We are all familiar with the hassles that accompany air travel. We shuffle through long lines, remove our shoes, and carry liquids in regulation-sized tubes. And even after all the effort, we still wonder if these procedures ...

CERN makes public first data of LHC experiments

Nov 21, 2014

CERN today launched its Open Data Portal where data from real collision events, produced by experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will for the first time be made openly available to all. It is expected ...

New technique allows ultrasound to penetrate bone, metal

Nov 20, 2014

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique that allows ultrasound to penetrate bone or metal, using customized structures that offset the distortion usually caused by these ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.