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Soft Matter

500 MPa cells, new-generation humidity chambers and improved stopped-flow observation heads will soon be available.

Dynamic light scattering on SANS, optimised adsorption and Langmuir troughs on Figaro, and more to come.

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Soft Matter

Soft Matter Facilities

ILL is actually developing and improving equipment for the soft matter community. This work is presently done within the framework of the European joint research activity NMI3 — Advanced Neutron Tools for Soft and Bio Materials. Best efforts are made to provide the devices listed below before 2016. Other equipment will then be developed in the coming years.

High-pressure cells

Several new high-pressure cells are being developed:

  • 2 and 7 kbar TiZr cells allowing to investigate flat samples,
  • 2 and 5 kbar cells with sapphire windows for SANS,
  • 7 kbar cell with dielectric in-situ measurement.

Liquid-liquid interface cells

A novel cell — fully made from Quartz glass — was developed for both neutron and X-ray techniques. Neutron reflectometry is performed through thin Quartz windows and 35 or 50 mm long flat interfaces. With regard X-rays,the windows are made from Kapton and the path length of the interface is a little longer to cope with smaller incident angles (60 mm).

New-generation humidity chamber

Several generations of humidity chambers were developed over the past 15 years. Despite these efforts, it is still impossible to stabilise the environmental humidity above 95% RH. Changing the relative humidity is also a very slow process leading to beam time losses. Together with our colleagues from HZB we prepare a novel device with the aim to solve these issues.

Stopped-flow systems

ILL owns stopped-flow devices to investigate the kinetics of different phenomena after the application of external stimuli: dilution, mixture, pH or T-jump, etc. Efforts are being made in collaboration with our colleagues from ISIS to decrease the temperature control and provide observation heads adapted to the available sample volumes.