New 2-D detector promises expanded neutron scattering capabilities for WAND users

March 14, 2017 by Heidi Hill, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
New 2-D detector promises expanded neutron scattering capabilities for WAND users
WAND instrument scientist Matthias Frontzek with the new WAND detector. The team is currently preparing to have the upgraded instrument available to users by spring 2018 with improved characterizations of materials in extreme environments at the microscopic level. Credit: Genevieve Martin/ORNL

The WAND instrument, beam line HB-2C, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's High Flux Isotope Reactor, recently received a new detector for improved characterizations of materials in extreme environments at the microscopic level—courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Both ORNL and LANL are Department of Energy laboratories.

WAND instrument scientist Matthias Frontzek says the renewed role of the re-serviced 2-D will enable researchers to build 3-D images, designed to help track changes in magnetic behavior in experiments using single crystals.

"What was once not visible before suddenly becomes visible because of the detector's ability to pick up on the subtle shifts in a system," Frontzek said.

Frontzek says the new detector not only captures larger portions of reciprocal space needed for specific types of magnetic characterizations, but it also enables neutron scattering to be captured in a wider range of directions. The new capability is expected to further bolster the instrument's ability to create a more complete blueprint of the crystallographic properties of new materials.

"Right now, we can only capture the equatorial plane of the scattered neutrons from a sample, but a 2-D position-sensitive detector will give us the information we need as to how a neutron scatters vertically," Frontzek said. "That way, we don't have to lose time in changing the crystal orientation to get the full picture."

For Frontzek, the new detector is a powerful resource for growing and maintaining a stream of engaged users for the instrument, including researchers who may not have considered using WAND before.

"I think the instrument's data acquisition rate and new capabilities will attract those in material sciences and in-situ chemistry, where you study the changes in material and characterize the changes that you observe at a fundamental level," he said.

Frontzek expects the upgraded WAND will be available to users by spring of 2018 once the installation and commissioning process is completed.

"The detector doesn't transform the instrument into a brand new , but it does increase its ability to problem solve and examine structural relationships that we have not observed before," Frontzek said. "I'm thrilled to see where it will lead others who come to the lab to implement their ideas."

Explore further: ORNL's newly licensed neutron detector will advance human disease research

Related Stories

Neutrons prove the existence of 'spiral spin-liquid'

October 27, 2016

Magnetic moments ("spins") in magnetic solids are capable of forming the most diverse structures. Some of them are not only of interest from a scientific point of view, but also from a technical standpoint: processors and ...

Recommended for you

How community structure affects the resilience of a network

June 22, 2018

Network theory is a method for analyzing the connections between nodes in a system. One of the most compelling aspects of network theory is that discoveries related to one field, such as cellular biology, can be abstracted ...

The pho­to­elec­tric ef­fect in stereo

June 22, 2018

In the photoelectric effect, a photon ejects an electron from a material. Researchers at ETH have now used attosecond laser pulses to measure the time evolution of this effect in molecules. From their results they can deduce ...

Water can be very dead, electrically speaking

June 21, 2018

In a study published in Science this week, the researchers describe the dielectric properties of water that is only a few molecules thick. Such water was previously predicted to exhibit a reduced electric response but it ...


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.