16 Oct 2008



Polref is a polarised neutron reflectometer designed for the study of the magnetic ordering in and between the layers and surfaces of thin film materials.

​​​​​​​​3D Schematic of the beamline


It is now routinely possible to grow artificial structures comprising many layers of different atoms (multilayers) with almost atomic-plane precision and distinct physical properties. The revolutionary development has been the exploitation of the magnetism of electrons (called spin) rather than the charge.

Through precise control of the neutron spin, unique information on the size and direction of the magnetism as a function of depth can be obtained, allowing very complicated structures to be studied layer by layer.

Example applications

  • Spintronics
  • Magnetic nanostructures
  • Complex biological layered structures
  • Fundamental magnetism and superconductivity


  • Reflectometry
  • Polarised neutron reflectometry
  • Neutron depolarisation
  • Magnetic layer contrast variation


Polref has, at present, 2D polarisation control and operates in the  wavelength range of 1-15 Å. In-plane magnetic fields of up to 2 Tesla are available.


Data Fitting and Reduction


Instrument links: ​Polref dashboard​ 

POLREF ISIS User committer representatives and end of experiment reports:


POLREF is part of the Large Scale Structures group and falls under ISIS User Group 3 (IUG3), which has a wide remit covering hard and soft condensed matter. If you have any comments, issues, problems or suggestions for anything from new sample environment, beamline upgrades new science, coffee being bad, etc or things that should be ISIS science highlights. Then please contact the LSS ISIS user committee reps directly via the following emails (there is also a link to the user committee page top right if you need further information) or list these suggestions/issues on the experiment report form (again see the link top right). It should be noted that in terms of beamtime proposals that complete experiment al reports are taken into account.


The more feedback we get the more we can do to improve things, or fix things to help you get better science.


UG3 Large Scale Structures

J Lakey (Soft Condensed Matter,)

University of Newcastle Upon Tyne


A Hindmarch (Hard Condensed Matter)

University of Durham

Contact information for Polref instrument

Location and contact information for the Polref beamline

Telephone01235 567043