Soft Matter & Biology

High-pressure cells

We propose different types of cells optimised to different instrument geometries and needs. A detailed list is provided in this page.

  • 250, 600 and 700 MPa TiZr cells allowing to investigate flat samples,
  • 0.5, 2 and 5 kbar cells with sapphire windows for SANS,
  • 7 kbar cell with dielectric in-situ measurement.

Adsorption troughs

Experiments with adsorption troughs featuring temperature control and surface tension monitoring can be performed on the horizontal reflectometer FIGARO. Up to 12 samples can be installed and measured automatically.

Langmuir troughs

Experiments with a Langmuir trough featuring temperature control and surface tension monitoring can be performed on the horizontal reflectometer FIGARO

Liquid-liquid interface cells

Cells fully made from Quartz glass were 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).

humidity chamberS

We have designed a precision humidity chamber for neutron diffraction allowing to maintain a Ø20 mm x 40 mm3 sample at any temperature between 10 and 85°C in a relative humidity between 10 to 100% (this range is obviously reduced at the lowest temperatures). The relative humidity is created with a water reservoir (H2O or D2O) regulated at a temperature deduced from Antoine's equation. The sample space is thermally decoupled from the water bath and the experimental environment. This allows the control of relative humidity up to 99.9% with an accuracy of ±0.01% RH.

Three identical chambers are available at the ILL on D16 where d-spacings can be measured after short or long equilibration times. Sample alignement can be performed off-line with a laser mounted on an optical bench, and equilibration can be started with no need to access the neutron beam. Future modified designs of this chamber are foreseen for other neutron techniques, in particular small angle scattering and reflectometry.

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.