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Sample Environment & Polarimetry

The ILL has firmly established itself as a pioneer in neutron science and technology. Neutron beams are used to carry out frontier research in diverse fields.

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Neutron technology at ILL

Sample Environment & Polarimetry

The Service for Advanced Neutron Environment provides sample environment equipments and polarised neutron tools to the ILL instruments. Its team has a strong track record in producing standards in sample environment and polarimetry for the whole neutron community. Among the many products developed at ILL, we can cite:

  • the "Orange" cryostat distributed by A.S. Scientific over the world for several decades. The main features of this cryostat include large sample top loading capability, isolated sample area with static exchange gas, low helium consumption and fast sample cycling times. Several variants of the standard cryostat are available to accommodate different sample dimensions and uses. The standard sample access dimensions are of Ø50, 70 and 100 mm.
  • the "Blue" furnace also distributed by A.S. Scientific over the world for decades. These top loading furnaces are characterized by their flexibility and transparency to neutrons. The outer furnace body is made of aluminium for use under high vacuum or inert gas atmosphere. All internal components in the neutron beam are made of thin vanadium or niobium foils. Heating is achieved by resistance heaters using low voltage and high current. A thermally decoupled heater and up to eight thermal shields guarantee small temperature gradients. Long term temperature stability is typically 0.1 % of the actual temperature and gradients are in the order of 0.1 to 0.5% of the actual temperature.
  • the "Cryopad" zero-field polarimeter which we have duplicated and installed in Germany (TU Aachen - FRM II), Japan (JAEA) and France (CEA-Grenoble) is the only device with which to determine precisely and reliably the direction of the scattered polarization vector for any given incident polarization and any scattering angle. This compact Cryogenic Polarization Analysis Device (Cryopad) takes advantage of the Meissner shields to properly define the magnetic field and zero-field regions crossed by the incident and scattered neutron beams, even in a stray magnetic field environment.
  • the  "Cryopol" magnetostatic cavity for hosting 3He neutron spin filter cells in stray magnetic fields. This device allows the polarisation of large-section neutron beams and features a perfect wide-band spin flipper. It consists of a superconducting Nb cylinder in which we trap a homogeneous magnetic field upon cooling.
  • the helium and nitrogen level monitors with auto-fill, alarms, very simple user interface and the possibility to remotely change the settings via a RS485 or Ethernet communication link.