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Demonstration of the technological capability for production of neutron-focusing nickel mirrors
Phone: (256) 461-1998
Phone: (256) 461-1998
Contact: Suzanne Romaine
Phone: (617) 496-7719
Type: Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization
Neutron scattering is one of the most useful methods of studying the structure and dynamics of matter. These methods require large installations at national laboratories, such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other facilities constructed or planned in the US and around the world. These facilities serve a large and diverse community of users in science and engineering, developing new materials for a wide range of applications from new pharmaceutical to energy to aerospace and defense. Neutron research facilities take a decade to build with a cost of a billion dollars. But they are largely limited by the relatively small flux of available neutrons. Therefore, the efficient use of available neutrons is the highest priority for users and designers of these facilities.
This project addresses the need for commercial production of neutron-focusing mirrors, a new type of device, which offers the possibility to improve the throughput of neutron instruments by an order of magnitude or more. The mirrors were first designed and produced by NASA for the needs of x-ray telescopes. Our adoption of this technology leverages a large, previous investment by NASA and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to benefit DOE neutron facilities.
We demonstrated the production of a small mirror in the Phase I. In Phase II, we will produce a set of mirrors that could be used at ORNL. By demonstrating commercial production of the optics, we will catalyze this transition into a different era in the neutron research. The Phase II project will be the stepping-stone effort in this direction, especially that there is no commercial supplier of such optics. The commercial availability of neutron focusing mirrors will bring significant, even transformative, improvements to rate-limited neutron scattering and imaging methods and enable new science. These mirrors are an example of novel optics specified in topic 8a for advanced optical components for neutron scattering instrumentation.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *