New materials - Novel engineering processes – Energy production – Clean energy - Methods
The development and engineering of components with improved functionality is the key to technological progress, which in turn provides sustainable economic growth. To achieve this goal, scientists and engineers are developing smarter materials and components.
To master the methodologies leading to new improved materials we need detailed knowledge of the structure of solids at the atomic or molecular level. Owing to their unique properties, neutrons can play a crucial role in this, by resolving, for example, the arrangements of magnetic moments in complex magnetic systems, by locating light atoms in intricate structures, or by assessing the residual stress distribution in bulky mechanical parts. Social applications include hydrogen storage materials, electrolytes and battery materials, and magnetic films. In the field of organic chemistry, isotopic substitution techniques can be exploited to elucidate the precise location of hydrogen atoms in biopolymers.
For a review of ILL research with the potential industrial applications see Neutrons and new Materials (pdf - 1.70 Mi) (pdf file, 1.78 Mb)