Knowledge of the location of water and hydrogen atom positions is of critical importance in understanding the molecular basis of the physical/biological properties of polymer molecules such as DNA, hyaluronic acid, filamentous viruses, silk and Kevlar©. While X-ray fibre diffraction is well suited to definitive structural studies of filamentous molecules, the extraction of information on water and hydrogen is often difficult. Neutron fibre diffraction, especially with selective deuteration, provides a reliable method of accessing this information.
Importantly, LMX will be unique in that it could allow one single instrument to collect both high- and low-resolution data simultaneously, offering a neutron (SANS/WAND) analogue of the SAXS/WAXS capability that has had such a major impact in X-ray synchrotron studies. Such a capability will be important for the study of many polymer systems that have important diffraction features both at low resolution (typically from 500 – 80 Å) and at very high resolution (in favourable cases at atomic resolution).