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Neutrons are produced at large research infrastructures. Researchers use them to look inside materials. With neutrons one can e.g. look inside a car engine, investigate drug delivery, see how plants uptake water, get insights into the development of superconductors.

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  • Focus on nuclear waste chemistry could help federal cleanup site challenges
    22.05.2019Phys.orgFocus on nuclear waste chemistry could help federal cleanup site challenges

    The team conducted quasi-elastic neutron scattering (QENS) at ORNL and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy at PNNL. Used together, QENS and NMR spectroscopy can provide alternate perspectives on the way atoms reorient …

  • Sweet neutron science shines new light on dark chocolate’s tastiness
    22.05.2019ORNL, USASweet neutron science shines new light on dark chocolate’s tastiness

    Neutrons are ideal for this experiment because they offer researchers an excellent view of matter at the micron scale, which is perfect for investigating chocolate’s microstructure. And, because neutrons and x-rays complement …

  • Through thick and thin: Neutrons track lithium ions in battery electrodes
    21.05.2019Phys.orgThrough thick and thin: Neutrons track lithium ions in battery electrodes

    “Lithium has a large absorption coefficient for neutrons, which means that neutrons passing through a material are highly sensitive to its lithium concentrations,” said Ziyang Nie, lead author and graduate student in Koenig’s …

  • 20.05.2019From: Phys.orgNeutrons investigate tomatoes for insights into interplant chatter
    Neutrons investigate tomatoes for insights into interplant chatter

    Exactly how that process works at the microscopic level is not well understood.

    Answering this question could have a big impact on both plant ecology and agriculture, which is why professors Kathryn and Jonathan Morris from Xavier University are using neutron scattering at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to observe firsthand how these info-chemicals travel along tiny, pipe-like networks called fungal hyphae. Whether the messages move passively along the outside of those fungal networks or the fungi deliberately locate and absorb info-chemicals for transportation remains unclear.

  • 19.05.2019From: Phys.orgSimulations identify importance of lattice distortions in ion-conducting fuel cell materials
    Simulations identify importance of lattice distortions in ion-conducting fuel cell materials

    “During this process of understanding what limits proton conduction in existing materials, we hope to also discover some new physics,” Ganesh said. “It’s all related to underlying atomistic mechanisms.”

    To validate the computational results, members of the team conducted a series of complementary experiments that employed pulsed laser deposition, scanning transmission electron microscopy, time-resolved Kelvin probe force microscopy, and atom probe tomography techniques at CNMS, as well as neutron scattering at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). CNMS, SNS, and the OLCF are all DOE Office of Science User Facilities located at ORNL.

  • 17.05.2019From: Phys.orgScientists discover hydration is key to improving catalyst performance for industrial use
    Scientists discover hydration is key to improving catalyst performance for industrial use

    Scientists have used neutron scattering to identify the secret to a metal-organic framework’s (MOF) ability to efficiently convert chemicals, through a process called catalysis, into new substances. By probing a material known as MOF-808-SO4, the team discovered molecular behavior that causes the catalyst to become less acidic, which could slow down the catalytic process vital in making products such as plastics, fragrances, cosmetics, flame retardants and solvents.

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