[Neutron] ORNL Neutron Times: April 2017

HFIR and SNS User Office neutronsciences.yahoo.com at mail.mailchimpapp.com
Wed Apr 5 19:04:46 CEST 2017

User News: April 2017
View this email in your browser (http://neutrons.ornl.gov/usernews)
Quarterly News and Highlights for HFIR and SNS Users
January to April 2017
In this issue:
* Featured Highlights (#Featured Highlight)
* User Office Updates (#User Office)
* Operations and Safety (#Operations and Safety)

* Staff Updates and Opportunities (#Staff Updates)
* Latest News (#Latest News)

Featured Highlights

** Neutron, Nanoscience Communities to Hold Joint User Meeting at ORNL

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) SNS-HFIR User Group (SHUG) and the Center for Nanophase Materials Science's (CNMS) User Executive Committee (UEC) will hold a joint User Meeting at ORNL on August 1-2, 2017. The two-day meeting will highlight research achievements by users and staff from CNMS, the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), as well as the broader nanoscience and neutron communities.

The User Meeting will also feature information on how to become a user; facility tours; user proposal planning; SHUG and UEC Town Hall Meetings; and user research posters and best student poster competition. There will be opportunities to meet with facility staff and other researchers to discuss and plan for submitting user proposals and other collaborative activities.

Current and prospective users will have an opportunity to present results of their research and share their user facilities experiences. The User Poster Session in the afternoon and evening of Tuesday, August 1, will provide an opportunity for graduate students and postdocs to present and discuss their research with colleagues. Graduate students will also be eligible to compete for Best Student Poster Presentation.

Attendees will have an opportunity to socialize with their colleagues on Wednesday, August 2, at an Open House and Reception at the Shull Wollan Center – a Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences, located adjacent to SNS and CNMS.

Confirmed keynote addresses will be given by Martha Greenblatt, Distinguished Professor and Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers University; Sanat Kumar, Bykhovsky Professor of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University; Andrew Minor, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering University of California, Berkeley and Director, National Center for Electron Microscopy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Karen Winey, Professor and TowerBrook Foundation Faculty Fellow of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania; Hans Christen, Director, ORNL Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences; and Alan Tennant, Chief Scientist, Neutron Sciences Directorate and Director, Shull Wollan Center.

Topical workshops and neutron data analysis tutorials will be held July 31, and August 3. Users that would like to suggest a workshop should contact Dr. Jennifer Niedziela (niedzielajl at ornl.gov (mailto:niedzielajl at ornl.gov) ) by April 6.

Abstracts are due by June 7. Registration closes July 17. For more information and registration, go to https://conference.sns.gov/event/81/.

** Awarding Excellence in Beamline Science

The SHUG Award for Excellence in Beamline Science recognizes beamline scientists who have made significant scientific contributions in their area of research or instrumentation development and have participated in the growth and enrichment of the user community.

Two awards are conferred in alternate years at the SNS and HFIR Users Group (SHUG) User Meeting to an active SNS and HFIR beamline scientist (one for each facility). A list of beamline scientists at the SNS and HFIR who are eligible for the award can be found at https://conference.sns.gov/event/81/page/9. Any SNS and/or HFIR user may submit a nomination. The recipients will be recognized at the 2017 SHUG Users Meeting, receive a monetary award, and have his or her name placed on an award plaque at each facility.

Drs. John Ankner, SNS BL-4B, and Hassina Bilheux, HFIR BL-CG-1D, received the SHUG Award for Excellence in Beamline Science in 2015.

To nominate a beam line scientist, please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7JFXG2Y. Nominations close on June 30, 2017. The SHUG Executive Committee will review the nominations for each facility and select the awardees.

** Call for Proposals Open until April 12

Proposals for beam time for the experimental period from July to December 2017, at HFIR and SNS will be accepted via the web-based proposal system until 11:59 a.m. EST, (NOON) on April 12, 2017. All proposals will be reviewed by an external Science Review Committee (SRC) for the potential for high-impact science. The SRC will met at ORNL May16-17, 2017, to finalize reviews. Principal investigators will be notified regarding the status of their proposal no later than June 1. To learn more about submitting a proposal for beam time, go to neutrons.ornl.gov/users/proposals (http://ornl.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ce206a54d06ec6e406c56333c&id=10add7f704&e=a2f7f9e00f) . Previously submitted proposals may be used as the basis for new proposals.

** ORCID Pilot Program for Beam Award
ORNL’s Neutron Sciences User Office is partnering with ORCiD this year to pilot an integrated workflow that displays SNS and HFIR beam time awards on a researcher’s ORCiD record. ORCiD, an international, interdisciplinary, not-for-profit, provides a free identifier for individuals to use with their name as they engage in research, scholarship, and innovation activities.

The partnership will explore developing a workflow that notifies the Neutron Sciences User Office when a publication appears in a researcher’s ORCiD record that highlights results from ORNL’s neutron sources. When researchers begin the process to submit a proposal to use SNS or HFIR, they will be asked to provide their ORCiD and grant ORNL permission to push neutron beam awards to their profiles.

For those researchers that provide their ORCiD and grant permission, SNS and HFIR beam time awards will be displayed in their profile under "Funding." Researchers that previously provided their ORCiD will need to grant ORNL permission to push information to their profile.

This notation will highlight that the researcher successfully competed and received beam time. The notation will be pushed to a researcher’s profile at the end of the run cycle. ORNL will also push previous beam time awards to those researchers' profiles.

For more information or to obtain an ORCiD, go to https://orcid.org.

** Sample Environment Updates

In 2017, the HFIR and SNS Sample Environment team will begin a new process called block scheduling of equipment for run cycles at both neutron facilities. The team will review proposals and consolidate those with similar needs into one continuous block of dates. For example, there may be a 10-day period where a certain magnet will run on a specific beamline.

This change resolves conflicts during the scheduling process when experiments at two different beamlines require the same piece of sample environment equipment at the same time, allowing the team to more easily accommodate current trends such as wet system environments and ultra-low temperature experiments.

Once a proposal is accepted, members of the instrument team will contact users as usual to schedule the experiment. However, users will now be asked to select dates for experiments within the block when their requested equipment will be available at their allocated beamline. Proposal submissions will still ask users for dates they are unavailable, and the team will take this information into consideration during the scheduling process. Block scheduling will begin with proposal cycle 2017-B.

“We look for ways to increase efficiency based on input from the user community and from our own observations,” said Gary Lynn, Sample Environment group manager. “We’re optimizing neutron time and becoming more responsive to user needs.”

The team is also working toward procurement of a new 14-Tesla magnet for use at SNS and plans to develop additional capabilities for HFIR and SNS instruments later this year.

** Save the Date: August 5–19, 2017,
National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering

NXS, the 19th National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering, will be held August 5–19, 2017, at Oak Ridge and Argonne National Laboratories. The main purpose of NXS is to educate graduate students on the utilization of major neutron and X-ray facilities.

Lectures presented by researchers from academia, industry, and national laboratories will include basic tutorials on the principles of scattering theory and the characteristics of the sources, as well as seminars on the application of scattering methods to a variety of scientific subjects.

Students will conduct short experiments at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source (APS) and ORNL’s SNS and HFIR facilities to obtain hands-on experience for using neutron and synchrotron sources.

Jointly conducted by Argonne’s APS and Materials Science Division, and ORNL’s Neutron Sciences Directorate, the school's scientific directors are Argonne’s Suzanne G.E. te Velthuis and Brian H. Toby, and ORNL’s Bryan C. Chakoumakos and John D. Budai.

The target audience for the school includes graduate students attending universities in North America, majoring in physics, chemistry, materials science, geosciences, engineering or related fields.

The application period for NXS 2017 will close April 10, 2017. On-line applications are at https://www1.aps.anl.gov/Conferences-and-Workshops/2017/national-school-neutron-and-x-ray-scattering.
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User Office Updates

** Featured Users: Nanoconfined Water Dynamics Shape Future Fuel Cells

Sung Kim, Grayson Jackson and Ashish Jayaraman from the Univ. of Minnesota, and Souleymane Omar Diallo (former BASIS instrument scientist), load a sample for an experiment on BASIS, SNS beamline 2. The team, led by Mahesh Mahanthappa is studying how nanoconfined water behaves in membranes, which could lead to the development of new ion transporting membranes in fuel cells and other electrochemical devices. Image credit: Genevieve Martin/ORNL
+ Read the full story (http://neutrons.ornl.gov/content/nanoconfined-water-dynamics-shape-future-fuel-cells)
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Operations and Safety

** High Flux Isotope Reactor Operations
HFIR is currently in a planned 52-day outage. The reactor will resume operation on May 2, 2017.

** Spallation Neutron Source Operations
SNS is currently operating at 1 MW and will continue to do so until May 26, 2017. SNS’s next planned outage is scheduled to begin May 28, 2017. Neutron production for users will resume on July 13, 2017. The planned operating power for the run that begins in July 2017, is 1.2 MW (after 1 week of initial operation at 0.85 MW).

** New 2-D detector promises expanded neutron scattering capabilities for WAND users

The WAND instrument, beam line HB-2C, at ORNL's HFIR, recently received a new detector for improved characterizations of materials in extreme environments at the microscopic level—courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Both ORNL and LANL are Department of Energy laboratories.

WAND instrument scientist Matthias Frontzek says the renewed role of the re-serviced 2-D detector will enable researchers to build 3-D images, designed to help track changes in magnetic behavior in experiments using single crystals.
+ Read the full story (http://neutrons.ornl.gov/content/new-2-d-detector-promises-expanded-neutron-scattering-capabilities-wand-users)
The new WAND detector. Frontzek expects the upgraded WAND will be available to users by spring of 2018 once the installation and commissioning process is completed.

** NDAV Offers Checklist for User Simulation Support

Starting with proposal cycle 2017-B, the Neutron Data Analysis and Visualization Division (NDAV) at SNS and HFIR will offer a more intuitive, user-friendly platform for exploring resources. Assistance options available through NDAV will appear as a checkbox in the Neutron Science’s Integrated Proposal Tracking System (IPTS) and an associated text field will allow users to request the type of simulation support they require.

According to NDAV Director Thomas Proffen, he and his team noticed that users were not always aware of the data-related resources available to them, or how to request access to them. The new request solution will ensure that users have everything they need before beginning an experiment.

Currently, two specific workflows are supported; 1) Density Functional Theory calculations for Molecular spectroscopy, and 2) Molecular Dynamics simulations for Quasi-elastic scattering. More workflows will be added over time.

The prescribed workflows are summarized on the website, http://neutrons.ornl.gov/users/data-mgmt.

Garrett Granroth, the Scientific Data Analysis group leader, said that users may sometimes require a workflow outside of these two options that NDAV could still support. He often receives user requests for a variety of simulation resources that vary in feasibility and complexity. In those cases, the NDAV team can start a dialoge with the user based on their initial input and determine whether their request can be accommodated at that time.

NDAV simulations have already proved beneficial as evidenced by a research team’s recent discovery that nanodiamonds can enhance the dynamics of a transfer RNA model system when exposed to water. The project could lead to improvements for RNA drugs capable of treating medical ailments from cancers to genetic disorders.

In that vein, NDAV staff members Jose Borreguero and Vickie Lynch helped develop Pegasus, a workflow optimization technique that creates precise simulation parameters capable of interpreting and comparing data, which let the researchers better understand tRNA dynamics.  + Read more (https://www.ornl.gov/news/diamonds-deliver)

To give feedback on the new checklist system, general simulation experiences, or interactions with embedded software scientists and other members of the NDAV team, users can still access the NDAV survey (https://docs.google.com/a/vols.utk.edu/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfALG_ISUjJ7sY5RFEdteFif97fMPVed3mQM3E0i7l6oz-log/viewform) .
The IPTS update will allow users to specify the NDAV simulation support they require before beginning an experiment. Based on user feedback, this change provides a more intuitive way to discover resources and request assistance.
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Staff Updates and Opportunities

** Ross Receives George E. Valley, Jr. Prize

Kate Ross, an assistant professor of physics at Colorado State University, and chair of the SNS-HFIR User Group, SHUG, received the 2016 George E. Valley, Jr. Prize from the American Physical Society. She received the prize for the elucidation of quantum frustrated magnetism and its expression in the ground-state selection of pyrochlore magnets.

** Job Openings at SNS and HFIR
Come join our team! View and apply for current open positions within the Neutron Sciences Directorate at ORNL: http://neutrons.ornl.gov/careers/

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Latest News

** Neutrons help reveal a new filter for heavy hydrogen

March 7, 2017

Deuterium and tritium—heavy isotopes of hydrogen—not only have numerous applications in science and medicine, but could also contribute to the energy mix of tomorrow as fuels for nuclear fusion. However, the process of filtering deuterium out of the natural isotopic mixture of hydrogen is at present both difficult and expensive.

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, the University of Leipzig, Jacobs University Bremen, the University of Augsburg, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory may be able to remedy this problem. They have presented a metal-organic framework compound that can be used to separate the two isotopes from normal hydrogen more efficiently than previous methods.
+ Read the full story (https://www.ornl.gov/news/neutrons-help-reveal-new-filter-heavy-hydrogen)

** Automated measurement system enhances quality, reduces handling in Pu-238 production

March 1, 2017

Under a collaborative partnership between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Energy, a new automated measurement system developed at ORNL will ensure quality production of plutonium-238 while reducing handling by workers.

NASA has funded ORNL and other national laboratories to develop a process that will restore U.S. production capability of Pu-238 for the first time since the late 1980s when the Savannah River Plant ceased production. ORNL has produced and separated about 100 grams of the material and plans to scale up the process over the next several years to meet demand to power NASA deep space missions. [...]

The Np-237 pellets loaded in the hollow aluminum tube later enter HFIR where they are irradiated, creating Np-238, which quickly decays and becomes Pu-238.

+ Read the full story (https://www.ornl.gov/news/automated-measurement-system-enhances-quality-reduces-handling-pu-238-production)

** Diamonds that deliver: Neutrons, simulation analysis of tRNA-nanodiamond combo could transform drug delivery design principles

February 24, 2017

It’s not enough to design new drugs.For drugs to be effective, they have to be delivered safely and intact to affected areas of the body--and, drug delivery, much like drug design, is an immensely complex task. Cutting-edge research and development like that conducted at ORNL can help solve some of the challenges associated with drug delivery.

In fact, ORNL researchers and collaborators at Wayne State University recently used a unique combination of experimentation and simulation to shed light on the design principles for improved delivery of RNA drugs, which are promising candidates in the treatment of a number of medical conditions including cancers and genetic disorders. Specifically, the research team discovered that the motions of a tRNA (or transfer RNA) model system can be enhanced when coupled with nanodiamonds, or diamond nanoparticles approximately 5 - 10 nanometers in size.
+ Read the full story (https://www.ornl.gov/news/diamonds-deliver)

** ORNL Staff Volunteer to Give Local Girls a Leg Up in STEM

February 13, 2017

ORNL staff joined forces in January to teach local middle school girls the fundamentals of computer science and the art of using pictures to tell data-centric stories. The “You Can Code!” event, held January 21, helped area girls tackle the basics of computer programming, a skill that is becoming a requirement in an increasing technological job market.

Computer science opens more doors for students than any other discipline in today’s world. Learning even the basics will help students in virtually any career—from architecture to zoology. The chance to design an app or an algorithm is a critical experience that could greatly affect a young person’s future career track.
+ Read the full story (https://www.ornl.gov/division/news/ornl-staff-volunteer-give-local-girls-leg-stem)

** Army researchers use neutrons to study ceramic material as possible lightweight vehicle armor

February 13, 2017

The U.S. Army Research Lab and Australian Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group are collaborating to study ceramic materials for potential use in the design of military vehicle armor using neutrons at ORNL's HFIR.

Shannon Ryan from the Australian DST Group and Mike Zellner, Shane Bartus, Brian Levy and Patrick Swoboda from ARL are investigating the impact of applied stress on ceramic samples to correlate with ballistic performance for vehicular armor by using the Second Generation Neutron Residual Stress Facility, NRSF2, HFIR beam line HB-2B. The lightweight ceramic material could be used as vehicle armor in place of heavy metal solutions that traditionally protect the military’s vehicles. The research team is seeking to understand how pre-applied stress impacts the material’s ballistic performance to validate models and predictive tools.
+ Read the full story (http://neutrons.ornl.gov/content/army-researchers-use-neutrons-study-ceramic-material-possible-lightweight-vehicle-armor)

** Bianca Haberl: Finding the joys of science under pressure

February 6, 2017

Scientific research can be vexing and tiring at times, but for Bianca Haberl, the euphoria of discovery is the ultimate reward. In fact, Haberl can identify the specific instance, early in her career, when that excitement originated and guided her toward high-pressure science. It was her first time working on a synchrotron, studying the phase transitions and structural changes of silicon under high pressure. Her team had been awake for two days straight with little success, until the early pre-dawn hours when one of their samples started to change.

“All of a sudden, these bits of silicon started popping up, essentially we saw ‘bubbles’ of metallic silicon appear. We could actually see, with our eyes, the phase transition happening before us,” Haberl said. [...]

Haberl, a researcher at ORNL, is a Weinberg Fellow and the high pressure science coordinator in the Neutron Sciences Directorate’s Advanced Diffraction Group. Her research focuses on compressing and transforming silicon and related elements into new materials and studying the transformed structures with neutron scattering at SNS.
+ Read the full story (https://www.ornl.gov/news/bianca-haberl-finding-joys-science-under-pressure)

** Neutrons identify critical details in bacterial enzyme implicated in gastric cancer

February 1, 2017

Neutron analysis at ORNL is helping researchers better understand a key enzyme found in a bacterium known to cause stomach cancer.

Understanding the details of this enzyme, and thus the Helicobacter pylori bacteria’s metabolism and biological pathways, could be central to developing drugs that act against H. pylori, but that do not attack the stomach’s useful bacteria.

“Most drugs, including common antibiotics, use a generalized mechanism to bind to their targets, which, in turn, eliminates the good bacteria you need to stay healthy, as well as the bad bacteria,” said Andrey Kovalevsky, one of the instrument scientists at ORNL's HFIR and coauthor of this research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (http://www.pnas.org/content/113/48/13756.full?sid=c897a0bd-baf8-4c31-9566-8b3f4f2bbf1c) .
http://+ Read the full story
+ Read the full story (https://www.ornl.gov/news/neutrons-identify-critical-details-bacterial-enzyme-implicated-gastric-cancer)

** Haslam visits ORNL to highlight state’s role in discovering tennessine

January 27, 2017

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam visited the lab today to congratulate the ORNL team involved in the discovery of the element tennessine, named in recognition of the vital contributions of the state of Tennessee to the international search for new superheavy elements. [...]

The state of Tennessee made several contributions to tennessine’s discovery. Vanderbilt University professor Joe Hamilton, a longtime collaborator with ORNL in physics research, advocated for the experiment to discover element 117, which required the radioisotope berkelium-249.

The only source of berkelium-249 is ORNL’s HFIR and adjoining Radiochemical Engineering Development Center. When a campaign to make the industrially important radioisotope californium-252 began in 2008 under the auspices of the DOE Isotope Program, Hamilton put Oganessian in touch with ORNL Director of Science and Technology Partnerships Jim Roberto. Roberto pulled together a team of scientists and engineers to produce berkelium-249, as a byproduct of the californium production, for the experiment and to collaborate in the international research effort.

+ Read the full story (https://www.ornl.gov/news/haslam-visits-ornl-highlight-state-s-role-discovering-tennessine)

** Neutrons and a ‘bit of gold’ uncover new type of quantum phase transition

January 19, 2017

When matter changes from solids to liquids to vapors, the changes are called phase transitions. Among the most interesting types are more exotic changes—quantum phase transitions—where the strange properties of quantum mechanics can bring about extraordinary changes in curious ways.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters (http://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.235701#fulltext) , a team of researchers led by ORNL reports the discovery of a new type of quantum phase transition. This unique transition happens at an elastic quantum critical point, or QCP, where the phase transition isn’t driven by thermal energy but instead by the quantum fluctuations of the atoms themselves.

The researchers used a combination of neutron and X-ray diffraction techniques, along with heat capacity measurements, to reveal how an elastic QCP can be found in a lanthanum-copper material by simply adding a little bit of gold.
+ Read the full story (https://www.ornl.gov/news/neutrons-and-bit-gold-uncover-new-type-quantum-phase-transition)

** Crystallization method offers new option for carbon capture from ambient air

January 9, 2017
Scientists at ORNL have found a simple, reliable process to capture carbon dioxide directly from ambient air, offering a new option for carbon capture and storage strategies to combat global warming. [...]

The research team is now studying the material’s crystalline structure and properties with the unique neutron scattering capabilities at SNS. By analyzing carbonate binding in the crystals, they hope to better understand the molecular mechanism of carbon dioxide capture and release and help design the next generation of sorbents.

+ Read the full story (https://www.ornl.gov/news/crystallization-method-offers-new-option-carbon-capture-ambient-air)

** New method uses neutrons, computational modeling to build better batteries

January 4, 2017

Researchers at ORNL have developed a way to better track the movement and amount of lithium during battery cycling using computational modeling, neutron imaging, and neutron diffraction—all part of an effort to develop more efficient and safer batteries. In a lithium-ion battery, the uniformity or distribution of lithium in the electrodes is often a key indicator of the performance of the battery cell.

“Inhomogeneity in local lithium concentration and transport across cell thickness is what triggers degradation and ultimately limits battery capacity and lifetime, and this study is a model demonstration which can be easily extended to commercial lithium-ion cells,” said lead researcher Jagjit Nanda.

+ Read the full story (https://www.ornl.gov/blog/eesd-review/new-method-uses-neutrons-computational-modeling-build-better-batteries)

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For questions or comments about this newsletter, please contact Jeremy Rumsey: rumseyjp at ornl.gov (mailto:rumseyjp at ornl.gov)  or 865-576-2038

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