Special Issue "Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Applied Physics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021) | Viewed by 12129

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Sebastian Jaksch
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich Centre for Neutron Science at MLZ, 85748 Garching, Germany
Interests: soft-matter; bio-mimetic systems; membrane systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to invite you to submit a contribution to a Special Issue on Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering in the Journal Applied Sciences.

Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) allows scientists of virtually all fields to conduct their respective experiments, ranging from biological and medical investigations, food science, polymers and various areas of soft condensed matter to magnetic interactions, data storage and material properties of turbine blades in material science and hard matter investigations.

Advances in SANS allow a very diverse and multi-pronged approach to problems in all these fields by improvements and advances in instrument technology and design, neutron optics, data reduction and sample environments. A combination of advancements in all those fields allows the researchers to deepen their knowledge about their specific samples and to investigate dedicated problems by providing the appropriate tools.

This Special Issue is focused on collecting those advancements to give an overview over the last few years. An indicative list of advancements that could be reported in this issue are:

  1. New instrument designs
  2. Instrument upgrades and fundamental improvements
  3. Sample environment technologies and experimental support
  4. Data treatment
  5. Exemplary experiments on systems that allow a general use, also for other systems
  6. Dedicated different geometries/techniques linked with SANS, such as GISANS

All original articles, case reports, and review articles will be welcome.

Dr. Sebastian Jaksch
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Small-Angle Neutron Scattering
  • SANS
  • GISANS
  • sample environment
  • data treatment
  • novel methods
  • instrumentation
  • instrumentation upgrades
  • instrumentation design

Published Papers (12 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Editorial
Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12010090 - 22 Dec 2021
Viewed by 722
Abstract
Small-angle scattering, and its neutron expression small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), has developed into an invaluable tool for the investigation of microscopic and mesoscopic structures in recent decades [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Simultaneous SAXS/SANS Method at D22 of ILL: Instrument Upgrade
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 5925; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11135925 - 25 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 873
Abstract
A customized portable SAXS instrument has recently been constructed, installed, and tested at the D22 SANS instrument at ILL. Technical characteristics of this newly established plug-and-play SAXS system have recently been reported (J. Appl. Cryst. 2020, 53, 722). An optimized lead shielding [...] Read more.
A customized portable SAXS instrument has recently been constructed, installed, and tested at the D22 SANS instrument at ILL. Technical characteristics of this newly established plug-and-play SAXS system have recently been reported (J. Appl. Cryst. 2020, 53, 722). An optimized lead shielding arrangement on the SAXS system and a double energy threshold X-ray detector have been further implemented to substantially suppress the unavoidable high-energy gamma radiation background on the X-ray detector. The performance of the upgraded SAXS instrument has been examined systematically by determining background suppression factors (SFs) at various experimental conditions, including different neutron beam collimation lengths and X-ray sample-to-detector distances (SDDX-ray). Improved signal-to-noise ratio SAXS data enables combined SAXS and SANS measurements for all possible experimental conditions at the D22 instrument. Both SAXS and SANS data from the same sample volume can be fitted simultaneously using a common structural model, allowing unambiguous interpretation of the scattering data. Importantly, advanced in situ/real time investigations are possible, where both the SAXS and the SANS data can reveal time-resolved complementary nanoscale structural information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Communication
Light Scattering and Absorption Complementarities to Neutron Scattering: In Situ FTIR and DLS Techniques at the High-Intensity and Extended Q-Range SANS Diffractometer KWS-2
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 5135; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115135 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 928
Abstract
Understanding soft and biological materials requires global knowledge of their microstructural features from elementary units at the nm scale up to larger complex aggregates in the micrometer range. Such a wide range of scale can be explored using the KWS-2 small-angle neutron (SANS) [...] Read more.
Understanding soft and biological materials requires global knowledge of their microstructural features from elementary units at the nm scale up to larger complex aggregates in the micrometer range. Such a wide range of scale can be explored using the KWS-2 small-angle neutron (SANS) diffractometer. Additional information obtained by in situ complementary techniques sometimes supports the SANS analysis of systems undergoing structural modifications under external stimuli or which are stable only for short times. Observations at the local molecular level structure and conformation assists with an unambiguous interpretation of the SANS data using appropriate structural models, while monitoring of the sample condition during the SANS investigation ensures the sample stability and desired composition and chemical conditions. Thus, we equipped the KWS-2 with complementary light absorption and scattering capabilities: Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy can now be performed simultaneously with standard and time-resolved SANS, while in situ dynamic light scattering (DLS) became available for routine experiments, which enables the observation of either changes in the sample composition, due to sedimentation effects, or in size of morphologies, due to aggregation processes. The performance of each setup is demonstrated here using systems representative of those typically investigated on this beamline and benchmarked to studies performed offline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Analysis of Periodic Order in Monolayers of Colloidal Superballs
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 5117; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115117 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 836
Abstract
The characterization of periodic order in assemblies of colloidal particles can be complicated by the coincidence of Bragg diffraction peaks of the structure and minima in the form factor of the particles. Here, we demonstrate a general strategy to overcome this problem that [...] Read more.
The characterization of periodic order in assemblies of colloidal particles can be complicated by the coincidence of Bragg diffraction peaks of the structure and minima in the form factor of the particles. Here, we demonstrate a general strategy to overcome this problem that is applicable to all low-dimensional structures. This approach is demonstrated in the application of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) for the characterization of monolayers of colloidal silica superballs prepared using the unidirectional rubbing method. In this method, the ordering of the colloidal superballs is achieved by mechanically rubbing them onto a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-coated surface. Using three differently shaped superballs, ranging from spherical to almost cubic, we show that certain Bragg peaks may not appear in the diffraction patterns due to the presence of minima in the form factor. We show that these missing Bragg peaks can be visualized by imaging the colloidal monolayers at various orientations. Moreover, we argue that the same strategy can be applied to other techniques, such as neutron scattering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Flexible Sample Environments for the Investigation of Soft Matter at the European Spallation Source: Part III—The Macroscopic Foam Cell
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 5116; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115116 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1012
Abstract
The European Spallation Source (ESS), which is under construction in Lund (Sweden), will be the leading and most brilliant neutron source and aims at starting user operation at the end of 2023. Among others, two small angle neutron scattering (SANS) machines will be [...] Read more.
The European Spallation Source (ESS), which is under construction in Lund (Sweden), will be the leading and most brilliant neutron source and aims at starting user operation at the end of 2023. Among others, two small angle neutron scattering (SANS) machines will be operated. Due to the high brilliance of the source, it is important to minimize the downtime of the instruments. For this, a collaboration between three German universities and the ESS was initialized to develop and construct a unified sample environment (SE) system. The main focus was set on the use of a robust carrier system for the different SEs, which allows setting up experiments and first prealignment outside the SANS instruments. This article covers the development and construction of a SE for SANS experiments with foams, which allows measuring foams at different drainage states and the control of the rate of foam formation, temperature, and measurement position. The functionality under ESS conditions was tested and neutron test measurement were carried out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Communication
Feasibility of Probing the Filler Restructuring in Magnetoactive Elastomers by Ultra-Small-Angle Neutron Scattering
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 4470; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104470 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 722
Abstract
Ultra-small-angle neutron scattering (USANS) experiments are reported on isotropic magnetoactive elastomer (MAE) samples with different concentrations of micrometer-sized iron particles in the presence of an in-plane magnetic field up to 350 mT. The effect of the magnetic field on the scattering curves is [...] Read more.
Ultra-small-angle neutron scattering (USANS) experiments are reported on isotropic magnetoactive elastomer (MAE) samples with different concentrations of micrometer-sized iron particles in the presence of an in-plane magnetic field up to 350 mT. The effect of the magnetic field on the scattering curves is observed in the scattering vector range between 2.5 × 10−5 and 1.85 × 10−4 Å−1. It is found that the neutron scattering depends on the magnetization history (hysteresis). The relation of the observed changes to the magnetic-field-induced restructuring of the filler particles is discussed. The perspectives of employing USANS for investigations of the internal microstructure and its changes in magnetic field are considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Flexible Sample Environments for the Investigation of Soft Matter at the European Spallation Source: Part I—The In Situ SANS/DLS Setup
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 4089; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094089 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1110
Abstract
As part of the development of the new European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund (Sweden), which will provide the most brilliant neutron beams worldwide, it is necessary to provide different sample environments with which the potential of the new source can be exploited [...] Read more.
As part of the development of the new European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund (Sweden), which will provide the most brilliant neutron beams worldwide, it is necessary to provide different sample environments with which the potential of the new source can be exploited as soon as possible from the start of operation. The overarching goal of the project is to reduce the downtimes of the instruments related to changing the sample environment by developing plug and play sample environments for different soft matter samples using the same general carrier platform and also providing full software integration and control by just using unified connectors. In the present article, as a part of this endeavor, the sample environment for in situ SANS and dynamic light scattering measurements is introduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Flexible Sample Environment for the Investigation of Soft Matter at the European Spallation Source: Part II—The GISANS Setup
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 4036; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094036 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1241
Abstract
The FlexiProb project is a joint effort of three soft matter groups at the Universities of Bielefeld, Darmstadt, and Munich with scientific support from the European Spallation Source (ESS), the small-K advanced diffractometer (SKADI) beamline development group of the Jülich Centre for Neutron [...] Read more.
The FlexiProb project is a joint effort of three soft matter groups at the Universities of Bielefeld, Darmstadt, and Munich with scientific support from the European Spallation Source (ESS), the small-K advanced diffractometer (SKADI) beamline development group of the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS), and the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ). Within this framework, a flexible and quickly interchangeable sample carrier system for small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) at the ESS was developed. In the present contribution, the development of a sample environment for the investigation of soft matter thin films with grazing-incidence small-angle neutron scattering (GISANS) is introduced. Therefore, components were assembled on an optical breadboard for the measurement of thin film samples under controlled ambient conditions, with adjustable temperature and humidity, as well as the optional in situ recording of the film thickness via spectral reflectance. Samples were placed in a 3D-printed spherical humidity metal chamber, which enabled the accurate control of experimental conditions via water-heated channels within its walls. A separately heated gas flow stream supplied an adjustable flow of dry or saturated solvent vapor. First test experiments proved the concept of the setup and respective component functionality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Technical Specification of the Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Instrument SKADI at the European Spallation Source
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3620; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083620 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 789
Abstract
Small-K Advanced DIffractometer (SKADI is a Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) instrument to be constructed at the European Spallation Source (ESS). SANS instruments allow investigations of the structure of materials in the size regime between Angstroms up to micrometers. As very versatile instruments, they [...] Read more.
Small-K Advanced DIffractometer (SKADI is a Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) instrument to be constructed at the European Spallation Source (ESS). SANS instruments allow investigations of the structure of materials in the size regime between Angstroms up to micrometers. As very versatile instruments, they usually cater to the scientific needs of communities, such as chemists, biologists, and physicists, ranging from material and food sciences to archeology. They can offer analysis of the micro- and mesoscopic structure of the samples, as well as an analysis of the spin states in the samples, for example, for magnetic samples. SKADI, as a broad range instrument, thus offers features, such as an extremely flexible space for the sample environment, to accommodate a wide range of experiments, high-flux, and optimized detector-collimation system to allow for an excellent resolution of the sample structure, short measurement times to be able to record the internal kinetics during a transition in the sample, as well as polarized neutron scattering. In this manuscript, we describe the final design for the construction of SKADI. All of the features and capabilities presented here are projected to be included into the final instrument when going into operation phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Grazing Incidence Small-Angle Neutron Scattering: Background Determination and Optimization for Soft Matter Samples
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 3085; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11073085 - 30 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 853
Abstract
Grazing incidence small-angle neutron scattering (GISANS) provides access to interfacial properties, e.g., in soft matter on polymers adsorbed at a solid substrate. Simulations in the frame of the distorted wave Born approximation using the BornAgain software allow to understand and quantify the scattering [...] Read more.
Grazing incidence small-angle neutron scattering (GISANS) provides access to interfacial properties, e.g., in soft matter on polymers adsorbed at a solid substrate. Simulations in the frame of the distorted wave Born approximation using the BornAgain software allow to understand and quantify the scattering pattern above and below the sample horizon, in reflection and transmission, respectively. The small-angle scattering from the interfacial layer, visible around the transmitted beam, which might contribute also on the side of the reflected beam, can be understood in this way and be included into the analysis. Background reduction by optimized sample cell design is supported by simulations, paving the way for an optimized GISANS cell. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Unified User-Friendly Instrument Control and Data Acquisition System for the ORNL SANS Instrument Suite
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 1216; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031216 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1241
Abstract
In an effort to upgrade and provide a unified and improved instrument control and data acquisition system for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) instrument suite—biological small-angle neutron scattering instrument (Bio-SANS), the extended q-range small-angle neutron scattering diffractometer (EQ-SANS), [...] Read more.
In an effort to upgrade and provide a unified and improved instrument control and data acquisition system for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) instrument suite—biological small-angle neutron scattering instrument (Bio-SANS), the extended q-range small-angle neutron scattering diffractometer (EQ-SANS), the general-purpose small-angle neutron scattering diffractometer (GP-SANS)—beamline scientists and developers teamed up and worked closely together to design and develop a new system. We began with an in-depth analysis of user needs and requirements, covering all perspectives of control and data acquisition based on previous usage data and user feedback. Our design and implementation were guided by the principles from the latest user experience and design research and based on effective practices from our previous projects. In this article, we share details of our design process as well as prominent features of the new instrument control and data acquisition system. The new system provides a sophisticated Q-Range Planner to help scientists and users plan and execute instrument configurations easily and efficiently. The system also provides different user operation interfaces, such as wizard-type tool Panel Scan, a Scripting Tool based on Python Language, and Table Scan, all of which are tailored to different user needs. The new system further captures all the metadata to enable post-experiment data reduction and possibly automatic reduction and provides users with enhanced live displays and additional feedback at the run time. We hope our results will serve as a good example for developing a user-friendly instrument control and data acquisition system at large user facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Review
Soft Matter Sample Environments for Time-Resolved Small Angle Neutron Scattering Experiments: A Review
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 5566; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11125566 - 16 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 793
Abstract
With the promise of new, more powerful neutron sources in the future, the possibilities for time-resolved neutron scattering experiments will improve and are bound to gain in interest. While there is already a large body of work on the accurate control of temperature, [...] Read more.
With the promise of new, more powerful neutron sources in the future, the possibilities for time-resolved neutron scattering experiments will improve and are bound to gain in interest. While there is already a large body of work on the accurate control of temperature, pressure, and magnetic fields for static experiments, this field is less well developed for time-resolved experiments on soft condensed matter and biomaterials. We present here an overview of different sample environments and technique combinations that have been developed so far and which might inspire further developments so that one can take full advantage of both the existing facilities as well as the possibilities that future high intensity neutron sources will offer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop