Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) is one of the most demanded applications of neutron technologies with a high impact for a wide range of scientific fields, including chemistry, life sciences, material research and more. It provides the information about the structure on the nm length scale, which is typically the crucial one to understand the properties and functions. Due to the shutdown of most of the research reactors in Europe, its active user community features an drastic decrease in the availability SANS machines.
On the other hand, SANS instrumentation has been developed in Asia, particularly Japan and the US, at compact accelerator driven neutron sources (CANS). These instruments provide a local access to universities and industrial partners with fast feedback into the synthesis due to the immediate access. The combination of classical SANS with a focusing SANS (VSANS) will enhance the visible Q-range towards larger length scales.
The JCNS develops High Current Accelerator driven Neutron Sources (HiCANS) to enhance the capabilities for this type of instrument. In a first step a demonstrator will be realized to explore the potential for a future user facility. The project we propose here addresses the development of different instruments concepts tailored to the features of the new source, culminating in a design to be realized at the planned demonstrator.
Besides that the applicant has the opportunity to gain experience in practical SANS work participating in the research program at our institute.
The project will allow the applicant to develop a strong background in small angle neutron scattering and become a pioneer for these instrumentation at new CANS neutron sources. Being an expert for Time-of-Flight instrument will allow her/him to also become a driver of the field at spallation sources such as the European Spallation source in Lund, Sweden, the Spallation Neutron source in Oak Ridge, USA, J-Parc in Tokai, Japan and others around the globe. In all these locations the combined expertise on SANS and VSANS will support the development of the envisaged SANS concept. The VSANS options need to be tested between focusing and converging optics. Focusing could be done with mirrors or lenses, converging optics embrace multiple pinholes and vertical converging slits.