First neutrons for ISIS’ second desktop neutron source
06 Dec 2021



This week saw first neutrons from the second of the new desktop fusion devices installed at ISIS

Person at a computwe with plasma showing on the screen

Earlier in 2021, the first of two new compact neutron sources was installed in the new Neutron Irradiation Laboratory for Electronics (NILE). These sources will be used by ISIS users to test the effect of cosmic ray damage on electronics, working alongside the ChipIr instrument.

There are two new neutron sources that form NILE: the first accelerates deuterium atoms towards a tritium target, prompting a fusion reaction that produces neutrons and helium atoms. The neutrons produced have an energy of 14 MeV, compared to the up to 800 MeV produced by the ISIS targets. The second accelerates deuterium atoms on a deuterium target, producing 2.5 MeV neutrons, and it's this 'deuterium-deuterium' source that produced its first neutrons this week.

By installing a second source, the capability of NILE is increased for internal testing and training, as well as for the dark matter research collaboration mentioned in our news article on the initial installation. It also expands the facility's capability into other areas of irradiation.

This week's neutron production marks the completion of the installation of the two new sources, enabling the team to move on to the next stage, which is to continue commissioning the instrument before it will be available to the user community.

If you are interested in using NILE, then visit the instrument page on how to contact the ChipIr team. 

Contact: Frost, Christopher (STFC,RAL,ISIS)