Neutron Scattering

The neutron scattering core research area supports innovative applications of neutron scattering to achieve transformative understanding of atomic and magnetic structures and excitations, and their relationships to macroscopic properties, including, mechanical, thermal, electronic, magnetic, and topological.  Capabilities that further innovation include (but are not limited to) novel uses of neutron beams, synthesis of samples specifically for neutron scattering (e.g., large single crystals, deuterated materials), sample environment optimized for neutron scattering, data acquisition and analysis techniques that facilitate experiments (near) operando conditions, and software to efficiently control instrumentation and collect data (“smart” automation) or to extract information accurately and efficiently from the data. Work supported by the activity should enable growth of the neutron scattering community, especially at BES-supported user facilities.  

Topics of particular interest address enigmatic quantum phenomena and collective behavior in hard and soft matter that use innovations of neutron scattering as a major tool. Examples of research topics include (but are not limited to) the response of materials to out-of-equilibrium conditions, research on materials that exhibit novel or unique properties that could be impactful for clean energy and deep carbonization, emergent phenomena at interfaces, and design principles for polymer-based energy materials. The program will develop novel approaches that exploit the uniqueness of neutron scattering to investigate emergent behavior in materials over a wide range of length, energy, and time scales. Innovative instrumentation concepts to observe materials in out-of-equilibrium conditions through correlation of neutron detection with driven changes of sample environment and concepts to analyze such measurements are particularly encouraged. The program will not support research considered “mature use” of neutron scattering techniques. The program will de-emphasize research resulting in incremental advances of understanding of materials, such as conventional and high-temperature (cuprate) superconductivity and magnetic systems in quiescent conditions. 

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. Michael Fitzsimmons