You are here



Please Note that a Letter of Intent is due Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Program Area Overview


The Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) supports fundamental research to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels in order to provide the foundations for new energy technologies and to support DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security. The results of BES-supported research are routinely published in the open literature.

A key function of the program is to plan, construct, and operate premier scientific user facilities for the development of novel nanomaterials and for materials and chemical characterization through x-ray and neutron scattering; the former is accomplished through five Nanoscale Science Research Centers and the latter is accomplished through the world's largest suite of light source and neutron scattering facilities. These national resources are available free of charge to all researchers based on the quality and importance of proposed nonproprietary experiments.

A major objective of the BES program is to promote the transfer of the results of our basic research to advance and create technologies important to Department of Energy (DOE) missions in areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, improved use of fossil fuels, the mitigation of the adverse impacts of energy production and use, and future nuclear energy sources. The following set of technical topics represents one important mechanism by which the BES program augments its system of university and laboratory research programs and integrates basic science, applied research, and development activities within the DOE.

For additional information regarding the Office of Basic Energy Sciences priorities, click here.




Maximum Phase I Award Amount: $150,000

Maximum Phase II Award Amount: $1,000,000

Accepting SBIR Applications: YES

Accepting STTR Applications: YES


As a unique and increasingly utilized research tool, neutron scattering makes invaluable contributions to the physical, chemical, and nanostructured materials sciences. The Department of Energy supports neutron scattering and spectroscopy facilities at neutron sources where users conduct state-of-the-art materials research. Their experiments are enabled by the convergence of a range of instrumentation technologies. The Department of Energy is committed to enhancing the operation and instrumentation of its present and future neutron scattering facilities [1,2] so that their full potential is realized.

This topic seeks to develop advanced instrumentation that will enhance materials research employing neutron scattering. Grant applications should define the instrumentation need and outline the research that will enable innovation beyond the current state-of-the-art. Applicants are strongly encouraged to demonstrate applicability and proper context through collaboration with a successful user of neutron sources. To this end, the STTR program would be an appropriate vehicle for proposal submission. Alternatively, applicants are encouraged to demonstrate applicability by providing a letter of support from a successful user. Priority will be given to those grant applications that include such collaborations or letters of support.

A successful user is defined as someone at a research institution who has recently performed neutron scattering experiments and published results in peer reviewed archival journals. Such researchers are the early adopters of new instrumentation and are often involved in conceptualizing, fabricating, and testing new devices. A starting point for developing collaborations would be to examine the strategic plans and annual activity reports from neutron scattering facilities at: and  


Grant applications are sought in the following subtopics:  


a. Advanced Optical Components

Develop novel or improved optical components for use in neutron scattering instruments [2-5]. Such components include, neutron focusing optics, neutron guides, neutron lenses, neutron polarization devices including 3He polarizing filters, and neutron spin flippers for the current and future neutron scattering facilities using time-of-flight techniques.

Questions – contact James Rhyne or Thiyaga Thiyagarajan,  


b. Advanced Sample Environment

Develop instrumentation and techniques for advanced sample environment [6,7] for neutron scattering studies. These in-situ environments should simulate conditions relevant to energy-related materials and should provide a novel means of achieving controlled chemical and gaseous environment and extreme sample conditions of temperature, pressure, electric and magnetic fields or combinations thereof.

Questions – contact James Rhyne or Thiyaga Thiyagarajan,


c. Other

In addition to the specific subtopics listed above, the Department invites grant applications in other areas that fall within the scope of the topic description above. Proposals focused on detectors will not be a priority area for FY 2017.

Questions – contact James Rhyne or Thiyaga Thiyagarajan,  



1.     U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, 2015, User Facilities, Neutron Scattering Facilities.  


2.     United States National Nanotechnology Initiative, 2005, X-rays and Neutrons: Essential Tools for Nanoscience Research Workshop Report, Report of the National Nanotechnology Initiative Workshop. (  


3.     International Atomic energy Agency (IAEA), 2012, Proceedings of the Twentieth International Collaboration on Advanced Neutron Sources (ICANS-XX) (  


4.     Anderson, I.S, McGreevy, R.L., Bilheux, H.Z., 2009, Neutron Imaging and Applications: A Reference for the Imaging Community, Springer. (  


5.     Majkrzak, C., & Wood, J.L., 1992, Neutron Optical Devices and Applications, Proceedings of the SPIE- the International Society for Optical Engineering Proceedings of SPIE Series, Vol. 1738, p.492. ISBN: 0819409111. (  


6.     Klose, et al., 2004, Physica B: Condensed Matter, Proceedings of the Fifth International Workshop on Polarized Neutrons in Condensed Matter Investigations, Vol. 356, Issue 1-4, p. 280. (


7.     Crow, J., et al, 2003, Workshop Report, SENSE: Sample Environments for Neutron Scattering Experiments Workshop, Tallahassee, FL, September 24-26, p.35. (  


8.     Rix, J.E., et al., 2007, Automated Sample Exchange and Tracking System for Neutron Research at Cryogenic Temperatures, The Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 78, Issue 1, (

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government