D16 is a highly versatile small-q diffractometer for the study of partially ordered structures with a geometry optimized for diffraction in reflection geometry on multilayer systems, Small- and Wide-Angle Scattering (SANS-WANS) with pinhole geometry, as well as wide-angle diffraction applied to powders, liquids and glasses. Its low Δq/q resolution provided by a Δλ/λ = 0.01 combined to 1D slit collimation or 2D pinhole collimation provides a flexible beam geometry for the various sample shapes and sizes. This flexibility allows for optimized flux or resolution required to adapt counting times with respect to the needs of each experiment (resolution, number of samples, coherent signal level, etc.).
The strength of the user program lies in a historically strong and stable base in the field of model and biological membranes and the capacity to host in parallel a very diverse community in other scientific fields.
D16 applications range over a very large number of fields: biology (model and biological membrane multilayers), soft condensed matter (colloids, liquid crystals, polymers and surfactants), chemistry and material science (clays, porous materials). Provided that samples can take full advantage of the focusing optics and excellent Δq resolution (e.g. thin films on large flat solid substrates), D16 remains a unique instrument not only with respect to other ILL instruments but also worldwide.
D16 is a two-circle diffractometer that evolved from the first "biological membrane diffractometers" built in Brookhaven and Harwell in the early seventies. Because of its special characteristics, D16 remains unequalled for the study of a wide range of systems in biology, physics and physical chemistry.