Small angle neutron scattering (SANS)

This instrument is operational,in user programme .

View of the LOQ sample position

View of the LOQ sample position: the neutron beam emanates from the long silver pipe in the centre, having passed through a chamber containing the collimator and incident beam monitor. The 600mm computer-controlled sample translator can also be seen.
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LOQ is a relatively simple instrument, consisting of an 11-metre evacuated beamline down which neutrons fly towards the sample. After being scattered by the sample, they hit a fixed two-dimensional detector 4 metres away, which can detect the positions and times of arrival of the neutrons. The resulting pattern is analysed to provide information on the nanostructure of the sample.


LOQ may be used to investigate the shape and size of large molecules, small particles or porous materials with dimensions in the range of 1 - 100nm. Length scales of up to 400nm can be probed in highly anisotropic systems. This instrument should therefore be of interest to anyone involved in the study of colloids, nanoparticles, polymers, bio-molecules, alloys, composites or porous systems.


The principle benefit of conducting SANS experiments at ISIS is that a "white" incident beam is combined with time-of-flight detection techniques to give LOQ a very large dynamic range in scattering vector, Q, all of which is accessible in a single measurement without any need to re-configure the instrument.

Did you know?

LOQ is the most successful time-of-flight SANS instrument in the world! In 25 years of operation it has collected over 160,000 data sets and generated almost 600 scientific papers.

To build on this success ISIS has just commissioned a second, more flexible, higher-throughput, SANS instrument on TS2 called SANS2D.


LOQ participates in the ISIS Xpress Access mechanism.

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