Neutron Scattering

This activity supports basic research on the unique interactions of neutrons with matter to achieve a fundamental understanding of atomic, electronic, and magnetic structures and their relationship to macroscopic properties. This includes excitations of materials and the resulting dynamic behavior of materials. The program will develop novel approaches that exploit the unique aspects of neutron scattering to investigate emergent behavior in materials over a wide range of length and time scales. The program has a focus on transformative research that uniquely requires neutron scattering as a major tool. Investments from this program drive the concomitant advancement of neutron scattering techniques and capabilities for materials research. It will continue its stewardship in fostering growth of the U.S. neutron scattering community by developing innovative, time-of-flight neutron scattering instrumentation concepts and their effective utilization for materials research, primarily at the BES-supported user facilities. Development of next-generation instrumentation concepts, innovative optics, novel detectors, advanced sample environments, data analysis tools and polarized neutrons are distinct aspects of this activity.

Topics of particular interest are novel applications of the state-of-the-art neutron scattering techniques for fundamental research on materials that exhibit novel emergent phenomena or unique properties that could be impactful for clean energy technologies. It will support advancement of techniques for research on quantum and energy materials, collective behavior of multi-component systems, emergent phenomena at the interfaces, and design principles for polymer-based energy materials. Coupling among materials synthesis, neutron scattering measurements, AI/ML and data science approaches, and theory and simulations is sought to provide a deeper understanding of materials structure and dynamics in equilibrium and nonequilibrium conditions. The program will not support research considered “mature use” of neutron scattering techniques for materials research. It will de-emphasize applications with a focus on conventional and high temperature superconductivity.

To obtain more information about this research area, please see the proceedings of our Principal Investigators' Meetings. To better understand how this research area fits within the Department of Energy's Office of Science, please refer to the Basic Energy Science's organization chart and budget request.

For more information about this research area, please contact Dr. Helen Kerch. (Acting)