ANSTO is Australia’s only nuclear science and technology facility Home of the new OPAL reactor One of the world’s best nuclear research reactors. The work we do addresses some of the key challenges of our time
Neutron Scattering – Inside one of the world’s best neutron research facilities
Professor Michael James
Areas of Neutron Science
Research Reactor vs Power Reactor
Power: 20 MW 3000 MW
Uranium: 30 kg 100,000 kg
Temp: 60 C 100 C
Uses: Generates neutrons for Generates steam for
Radioisotopes, Si and Science Electricity
Neutrons lose energy by colliding with heavy water (D2O) around the core.
This generates heat.
What Happens During Fission?
Neutrons travel ~80 m in 0.04 s
Cold Neutrons(-250 C)~800 m/s
Neutrons: Faster than a speeding bullet
Thermal Neutrons(60 C)~2000 m/s
X-rays vs Neutrons
Neutrons scatter from the nucleus
Scattering depends on isotopes:1H (hydrogen: 1e-, 1p+) is different to2H (deuterium: 1e-, 1p+, 1n)
X-ray scattering depends on atomic number (Z).
X-rays scatter from the electron cloud
According to neutrons ~99.9999999% of matter is “empty space”
It can be adsorbed.
Allows us to study materials under extreme environments:
Temperature -271 C to 1600 C
Pressure: Up to 10,000 atm
Magnetic Field:12 Tesla
Sometimes, it scatters…
This is what we measure in neutron scattering experiments.
Three Axis Spectrometers
Small Angle Scattering
Gives the location of light elements in the presence of heavy metal atoms.
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Monitoring of atomic structure during device application.
In-situ Diffraction of Li-ion Battery Cycling
(Stress determination to improve the reliability of critical components)
Non-destructive mapping of mechanical stresses.
When pipelines get stressed…
Welds, joints, hardening, quenching…Metals, alloys and composites…
From the production line or after use.
Stabilised Polymer Emulsions
Materials used in countless industrial preparations are based on molecular nano-composites
Data in modern digital devices is stored on nanoscale magnetic thin films
Study of diseases such as cholera, Alzheimer’s, and pneumonia are possible using artificial cell membranes
Neutrons can probe both structure and magnetism
Vapour given off from explosives can switch-off light-generating molecules called dendrimers