Sandals technical information
13 Aug 2009



SANDALS is a total scattering instrument, optimised for diffraction form liquids and glasses as well as for other disordered complex systems.

​​SANDALS drawing

​Technical Summary

SANDALS is a neutron diffractometer especially built for investigating the structure of liquids and amorphous materials. 

Using SANDALS it is possible to measure the static structure factor, S(Q), of a disordered material over a wide range of momentum transfers.

SANDALS experiments usually employ the powerful technique of isotopic substitution technique to perform in depth structural studies on the atomic scale.

The combination of an intense pulsed neutron source and a large number of detectors at low angles make SANDALS particularly useful for measuring structure factors containing light atoms such as hydrogen and deuterium.

The instrument saw its first neutrons in 1989 and has been completely refurbished in 2005.



Instrument Parameters

Incident Wavelength

0.05 to 4.95 Å


0.1 to 50 Å


Liquid methane at 110K

Incident Flight Path


Final Flight Paths0.75m to 4.0m
Detectors633 ZnS scintillators


Theoretical background:

    A.K. Soper, Inelasticity corrections for time-of-flight and fixed wavelength neutron diffraction experiments, Molecular Physics, 107 (16) 2009 1667-1684

    A.K. Soper, W.S.Howells and A.C.Hannon, ATLAS - Analysis of Time-of-Flight Diffraction Data from Liquid and Amorphous Samples, RAL Report,  RAL-89-046 (1989).

Early references:

    C.J. Benmore and A.K. Soper, The SANDALS Manual : a Guide to Performing Experiments on the Small Angle Neutron Diffractometer for Amorphous and Liquid Samples at ISIS. Version 1.0, RAL Technical Reports, RAL-TR-1998-006 (1998)

    J.Z. Turner, A.K.Soper, W.S.Howells, A.C.Hannon and S. Ansell, SANDALS Survival Guide. September 1995, version 2.2.

    A.K. Soper, First results from SANDALS - the small angle neutron diffractometer for amorphous and liquid samples at ISIS, Proc Int Collab on Advanced Neutron Sources, Japan, 1990