A year around ISIS

The Centre for Materials Physics and Chemistry at STFC, together with the Hartree Centre and Hubbard Theory Consortium, held a two-day workshop at RAL in June. There was a wide range of talks from researchers from the UK, Europe and further afield. The meeting was part of the South East Physics Network (SEPNet) summer programme ‘Condensed Matter Physics in the City’, focused on stimulating discussions between theorists and experimentalists in the field of magnetism and strongly correlated and interacting electron systems.

Cella Energy Ltd

Cella Energy is a spin-out from ISIS. The company has already gained major investments from specialist chemical company Thomas Swan & Co Ltd., who signed an agreement on 24 January 2011, and Space Florida who have led further investments of $2.5m. Cella Energy has developed a novel technology that allows hydrogen to be stored in a cheap and practical way, making it more suitable for widespread use as a carbon-free alternative to petrol.


Stephen Bennington, Chief Scientific Officer for Cella Energy

Professor Stephen Bennington from ISIS, Chief Scientific Officer for Cella Energy, showing a Cella Energy storage device.
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ISIS scientist wins neutron prize for novel nanoscience technique

Rob Dalgliesh from ISIS has been awarded the prestigious BTM Willis Prize for neutron scattering. This is in recognition of his development of novel neutron techniques that are opening up new areas of fundamental and applied research in nanoscience. The prize is awarded bi-annually by the Neutron Scattering Group of the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). Rob has pioneered a new instrument called Offspec, one of the instruments on the ISIS Second Target Station. It is designed to look at microscopic structures such as those found in polymer blends (plastics) and surfactants (soaps and detergents).

Robert Dalgliesh receives the Willis Prize Award from Dr Ali Zarbakhsh

Robert Dalgliesh receives the Willis Prize Award from Dr Ali Zarbakhsh.
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Faraday Discussion 151: hydrogen storage materials

Organised by the Faraday Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry and supported by ISIS, this Discussion was held at RAL in April and attracted 115 participants from 10 countries.
It focused on hydrogen storage for fuel applications, and included discussion of adsorption and reaction of hydrogen by materials, from synthesis to characterisation.

Faraday Discussion 151 on hydrogen storage materials

Faraday Discussion 151 on hydrogen storage materials was held at RAL in April. Image courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA.
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Neutron Training Course

The ISIS neutron training course was held in May. The course is aimed at researchers new to neutron scattering (mainly 1st year PhD students) and provides practical experience of the set-up and running of the full suite of neutron instruments at ISIS. In addition, the students receive lectures in the technique of time-of-flight neutron scattering, and learn about the production of neutrons at a spallation source. This year 25 participants attended the 8-day course.


Students at the 2011 ISIS Neutron Training Course.

Students at the 2011 ISIS Neutron Training Course.
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ISIS represented at The Big Bang 2011

The Big Bang 2011 is one of the UK’s biggest science events for young people celebrating science and engineering, with over 20,000 people attending. The theme of the ISIS stand at the 2011 event, held in London, was low carbon energy. The stand featured mini hydrogen-powered cars and an array of novel hydrogen storage material samples, with experts from ISIS and Cella Energy on hand to answer visitors’ questions.

Big Bang exhibition

Visitors to ISIS’ Big Bang exhibition learning about hydrogen-powered cars.
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New Xpress services

Xpress services have existed on some ISIS instruments for quite a while. They enable a ‘measure-by-courier’ service that is suitable when only very limited neutron time is needed or for very new or infrequent users. The Xpress services have now been broadened to include the quasi-elastic instruments (Iris and Osiris) together with the muon spectrometers. They are an ideal way to do an initial characterisation of a sample or check a sample’s feasibility for future experiments. Full details can be found in the ‘Applying for beamtime’ section of the ISIS website.

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