16 Oct 2008



TOSCA is an indirect geometry spectrometer optimised for the study of molecular vibrations in the solid state.

​​​​​​​View of TOSCA showing detector banks for forward and backward scattering.

TOSCA's simple operation and the similarity of the spectra to the optical analogues of infrared and Raman spectroscopy make it one of the most approachable instruments for first-time users.  Science on Tosca includes studies of catalysts, hydrogen storage materials, hydrogen bonded systems, advanced materials, biological samples and organic compounds such as drugs.

In its current incarnation, th​e TOSCA spectrometer is the result of a long-standing and fruitful collaboration between ISIS and the Italian Research Council (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, CNR). These joint efforts have been revently reviewed in J Phys Conf Ser.​ A multi-million pound upgrade to the primary flight path of TOSCA has revolutionised the experiental capabilities of TOSCA. The results of this upgrade are documented in a recent pub​lication.

TOSCA DASHBOARD​ (Monitor your experiment on​ TOSCA)


Advantages of inelastic neutron scattering (INS)

  • INS spectroscopy is sensitive to the vibrations of hydrogen atoms;

  •  Hydrogen is ten times more visible than other elements due to its neutron cross section, whereas Raman and infrared are more sensitive to the motion of heavier atoms (because of the larger number of electrons)

  • INS is not subject to optical selection rules. All vibrations are active and, in principle, measurable;

  • INS observations are not restricted to the centre of the Brillouin zone (gamma point) as are the optical techniques;

  • INS spectra are readily and accurately modelled: The intensities are proportional to the concentration of elements in the sample and their cross sections, the measured INS intensities relate straightforwardly to the associated displacements of the scattering atom and manipulation of backgrounds is straightforward;

  • Neutrons penetrate deeply into materials and pass easily through the walls of metal containers, aluminium or stainless steel, making neutrons ideal to measure bulk properties;

  • INS spectrometers cover the whole range of the molecular vibration spectra, 0-500 meV (0-4000 cm-1).

To learn about the history of TOSCA, click here

TOSCA document

Contact information for Tosca instrument​

Instrument​ Scientists: Dr Svemir Rudic, Dr Jeff Ar​mstrong and Dr Stewart Parker

If you are interested in using the dedicated Raman system (complete with cryostat cabable of 5 K temperatures)​, contact Dr Jeff Ar​ms



Telephone01235 446356