STFC - Brazil collaborative workshops on neutron techniques for materials research
24 Jun 2023



21-22/Aug/2023 and 12-14/Sept/2023




Neutron scattering and imaging are powerful techniques to study the structure and dynamics of materials over broad time- and length-scales, with applications for studies of materials related to energy & net zero, catalysis, polymer systems, drug delivery, functional materials, magnetism, superconductivity and engineering, amongst many others. Thanks to the strong interaction between neutrons and light elements, these techniques are particularly useful for the study of hydrogen-containing materials like pharmaceuticals or lithium-ion conduction in batteries. The magnetic moment of neutrons also makes them uniquely sensitive to magnetism. 

The ISIS Neutron and Muon Source provides 31 instruments, 27 of which are dedicated to neutron techniques; each year it has 3500 user visits, performs 1000 experiments and produces 600 publications. To harness the capabilities of ISIS for the advancement of Brazilian and UK materials research, and in the wider context of the opportunities offered by the launch of the Brazilian Multipurpose Reactor (RMB) project in Iperó (SP, Brazil), we plan to promote a series of webinars and workshops. In particular, these aim to expand the Brazilian neutron user community by: 

  • Identifying new Brazilian research groups and projects that can benefit from neutron techniques 
  • Training the next generation of researchers in neutron science 
  • Facilitating access to the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source for Brazilian users 
  • Exchanging knowledge on neutron scattering techniques and science 
  • Exploring possibilities for common infrastructure projects for e.g., sample environment development 

The activities and collaborations initiated by the webinars are expected to lead to grant proposals to CNPq/CAPES/FAPESP/STFC to support mobility of scientists for neutron beamtime as well as infrastructure development. 

The first webinar will introduce ISIS Neutron Source and Brazilian funding agencies; the second webinar, hosted by ISIS Staff, will be divided into three broad science areas – Life Science/Soft Matter, Functional Materials, Magnetism/Hard Condensed Matter and will aim to introduce Brazilian academics unfamiliar with neutron techniques to the underlying principles and applications. These will be followed by another set of three webinars that will provide an opportunity for both experienced and prospective Brazilian neutron users to present their research. It is foreseen that this initial series will start a process that will eventually lead to ISIS beam-time proposal submission in the October 2023 and April 2024 rounds and/or Xpress Access for short experiments to e.g., demonstrate viability ahead of a full proposal. The writing of these beam-time proposals will be supported by ISIS staff, and progress towards obtaining beam-time and new ideas will be discussed at two interim online workshops. Finally, an in-person meeting to discuss initial results and further research plans is foreseen in June 2024. ​

Program for SERIES_1: 21/August/2023 (with link for references and video)

Program for SERIES_2

Short talks from Brazilian research groups showing science cases that could be benefitted with the use of neutron techniques in preparation for proposal submission to ISIS.

Tuesday, 12th September: Soft matter/life sciences

10:00-10:10 (Brazilian time) 14:00-14:10 (UK time) : ​Leide Cavalcanti - Welcome and updates

10:10-10:25 (Brazilian time) 14:10-14:25 (UK time) ​: Cícero Ávila Neto (UFPR) - Waste and chemical intermediates characterization from forestry mill for biofuel production

10:25-10:40 (Brazilian time) 14:25-14:40 (UK time) ​: Patricio Montecinos Munoz (USP) - A proposal for neutron monitoring of simulated low P-T geological processes to understand petrological and environmental issues

10:40-10:55 (Brazilian time) 14:40-14:55 (UK time) ​: Cristiano L. Oliveira (USP) - Structural Investigations of Soft Matter Systems

10:55-11:10 (Brazilian time) 14:55-15:10 (UK time) ​: Fabiano Yokaichiya (UFPR) - Unveiling drug delivery systems using small angle neutron scattering.

11:10-12:00 (Brazilian time) 15:10-16:00 (UK time) ​​: Discussion


Wednesday, 13th September: Functional materials

10:00-10:10 (Brazilian time) 14:00-14:10 (UK time) : TBC - Welcome and update

10:10-10:25 (Brazilian time) 14:10-14:25 (UK time) ​: Guinther Kellermann (UFPR) - Studies by SAXS of nanoparticles in glasses and single-crystalline silicon wafers

10:25-10:40 (Brazilian time) 14:25-14:40 (UK time) : Fabio Rocha Formiga (FIOCRUZ) - Neutron techniques for biomaterials research

10:40-10:55 (Brazilian time) 14:40-14:55 (UK time) : Carlos Maduro de Campos (UFSC) - Neutron scattering studies on mechanochemically synthesized Chalcogenide powders

10:55-12:00 (Brazilian time) 14:55-16:00 (UK time) : Discussion


Thursday, 14th September:

10:00-10:10 (Brazilian time) 14:00-14:10 (UK time) : Gøran Nilsen: Welcome and update

10:10-10:25 (Brazilian time) 14:10-14:25 (UK time) ​: Fernando Passos de Almeida (USP) - NdCo5 crystal field excitations investigated by inelastic neutron scattering

10:25-10:40 (Brazilian time) 14:25-14:40 (UK time) : Eduardo Granado (UNICAMP) - Non-collinear magnetism in Ca2-xYxMnReO6 double perovskites

10:40-10:55 (Brazilian time) 14:40-14:55 (UK time)Viviane Peçanha Antonio (Uni. Oxford) - Magnetic interactions in Nd2PdSi3

10:55-11:10 (Brazilian time) 14:55-15:10 (UK time)Matheus de Assis Martins (UFPR) - The behavior of spin density waves (SDW) in Cr alloys – 0.2% V: Temperature and applied magnetic field contributions

11:10-12:00 (Brazilian time) 15:10-16:00 (UK time): Discussion


Program for Neutron Training Course in 2024 to be combined

Presented by ISIS scientists. Held in Brazil

Neutron Training Course and workshop: To be comfirmed.

STFC Contacts:

Leide P. Cavalcanti

Gøran Nilsen​

Helen Walker​

We are grateful to the following for facilitating the organisation of these webinars:
Dr. Julio Larrea Jimenez, Dr. Valentina Martelli, Dr. Margareth K. Dias Franco, Dr. Fabiano Yokaichiya, Dr. Heloisa N. Bordallo, Dr. Marcia Fantini, Dr. Eneida de Paula, Dr. Eduardo Granado, Dr. Cristiano L. Oliveira, Dr. Viviane P. Antonio, Dr. Philip King.​​

Contact: Cavalcanti, Leide (STFC,RAL,ISIS)