ISIS is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford in the United Kingdom. Our suite of neutron and muon instruments gives unique insights into the properties of materials on the atomic scale.
We support a national and international community of more than 3000 scientists for research into subjects ranging from clean energy and the environment, pharmaceuticals and health care, through to nanotechnology and materials engineering, catalysis and polymers, and on to fundamental studies of materials.
December 2014 will be 25 years since the first neutrons appeared on SANDALS - 4th December 1989! To celebrate this occasion we are holding a Disordered Materials Science Meeting, 6-7 January 2015, at The Cosener's House. Following the SANDALS meeting, we will be holding another EPSR (Empirical Potential Structure Refinement) workshop at The Cosener's House, 8 – 9 January 2015.
The UK Catalysis Hub in association with the ISIS Neutron and Muon Facility are pleased to announce a two day meeting on neutron scattering with an emphasis on catalytically relevant techniques. This will take place at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Oxfordshire.
UK scientists have built a new facility aimed at understanding how particles from space can interact with electronic devices, and to investigate the chaos that cosmic rays can cause – such as taking communications satellites offline, wiping a device's memory or affecting aircraft electronics. ChipIR has successfully completed its first round of development testing before going in to full operation in 2015.
CCP-SAS is a joint US/UK collaborative software development project, involving both ISIS & Diamond, to provide the infrastructure and tools for analysing small-angle scattering data on complex soft matter systems using atomistic and coarse grained modelling approaches.
We are making changes which will affect all ISIS users. These include changes to proposal access routes. We are also relaunching experimental reports, and we are changing some of the travel, subsistence and consumables arrangements for UK users.
Professor Roberto De Renzi from the University of Parma has been awarded the 2014 Yamazaki Prize for muon science. He is recognised for his sustained and exceptional contributions to the development of the muon spin relaxation (μSR) technique to investigate solid-state physics.
2015 will see both the capacity and capability of ISIS increase with two new instruments coming online. Target station 2 started operation in 2008 with 7 neutron instruments, and now two new instruments, ChipIR and Larmor have received first neutrons and are beginning their commissioning phases. A further two instruments, IMAT and ZOOM, are under construction.
The ISIS first target station – TS1 – has been operating since ISIS started up in 1984. With the experience gained from the new TS2, and the ability to use computer modelling to simulate target station performance, there is now a significant opportunity to upgrade TS1.
The ISIS muon facility has been operating since 1987, and some of the muon beamline magnets were second-hand then – they are now over 50 years old in some cases. During the long shutdown in 2014/5, the quadrupoles near the muon target will be replaced.
The ISIS linear accelerator (linac) consists of 4 radiofrequency (RF) accelerating tanks, accelerating hydrogen ions generated in the ion source to 37% of the speed of light before feeding them into the synchrotron for final acceleration. Tanks 1 and 4 were built at RAL in 1976, for ISIS’ predecessor, Nimrod. They are now showing their age, so a project is underway to replace tank 4 by 2018.
EPB1 is made up of 68 magnets all of which are roughly 50 years old. Many of the electrical windings of these magnets are deteriorating (especially in high radiation-dose areas near the downstream end of EPB1). Replacement of magnets upstream of the muon target and between the muon target and the neutron target will take place during the 2014/15 shutdown.
Many real magnetic materials are called “model” systems, meaning they are believed to be good test candidates for understanding new physical phenomena. However, before looking for predicted novel phenomena, it is important to determine just how close a system is to being a model magnetic system. In a recent experiment on the Merlin instrument at ISIS, Dr Andrew Wildes and Ms Diane Lançon of the ILL endeavoured to reveal the degree of model status for one candidate material – FePS3. The experiment demonstrated that the high neutron flux available on the instrument enables samples as small as 0.3 g to be studied.
Understanding the development and distribution of residual stresses caused by machining is key to improving machining processes. The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), with Boeing, at the University of Sheffield have been using Engin-X at ISIS to study the evolution of residual stresses in AA7050 – an aluminium alloy commonly used in aerospace structures - as it is heated and then machined. This understanding will enable them to reduce non-conformance in the manufacturing process, and significantly reduce costs.
Researchers at the University of Sheffield, University of Durham and ISIS in collaboration with Start-up Company Ossila are using neutron reflectometry to look the formation of plastic solar cell films with the goal of developing devices which efficiently harness the power of the sun whilst being cheaper and easier to manufacture than the current silicon solar cells.
Ultrasonic peening (UP) is a technique for improving the fatigue performance of welded joints. Little research has been done on how UP-treated welds behave when they are subjected to real world conditions such as compressive overload or variable amplitude loading. Lloyd’s Register provides quality assurance to the marine industry, and they have been using ENGIN-X to investigate UP welded joints in these conditions. Understanding the process and its benefits will allow improved control of fatigue cracking, lower maintenance costs, and extending the life of welded connections in marine and other industries.