Advanced materials

Zoom science

The longer length scales accessed by ZOOM and its polarised beam would expand the range of studies of void formation, precipitation or magnetic domains in magnetic materials, metals, alloys and around welds. Material processing and polymerisation using super-critical fluids in novel high pressure apparatus will benefit from both the Q range and sample space on ZOOM. Studies of templated and mesoporous materials or directed assembly using DNA sequences, particularly the early stages of formation or where oriented anisotropic materials result, would be well suited to ZOOM. For example titania or silica particles templated around surfactants may self-assemble into larger “crystalline arrays”, spheres, cylinders, hexagonally-packed rods, etc. which may themselves then assemble into oriented sheets. Learning to control the geometry of pores and long range aggregation is vital for product development. Composites and metals containing embedded fibres of carbon or polymers may be studied by X-rays, but neutrons would supply complementary information. Amorphous phase separation and crystallisation in glass ceramics requires an extreme Q range. Polymer intercalated clays are a further example where anisotropic scatter, wide Q range, good Q resolution and neutron contrast variation to highlight specific components are all key to good science.

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