Advanced materials

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)


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Using neutron spectroscopy data taken at ILL, researchers achieved a novel understanding of molecular movement at the nanoscale, providing new insights that may impact the design of future materials and technologies. The study has just been published…

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Courtesy of 2FDN - Written by Valentina Giordano

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Neutron spectroscopy provides a range of tools to study the structural dynamics of semiconducting organic materials for novel solar cells with improved power conversion efficiency.

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Only by using neutron instruments from across the globe, have researchers been able to characterise the magnetism of a graphene-like material.

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Courtesy of ISIS.

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