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FP6

ISIS TS2 — Result In Brief

Project ID: 11723
Funded under: FP6-INFRASTRUCTURES

New facilities, instruments for materials detailing

An understanding of why individual substances behave as they do is fundamental to the development of new materials tailor-made to their application.
New facilities, instruments for materials detailing
EU and collaborative funding has provided a major upgrade to Europe's ability to complete related research with a newly completed facility and new instruments. The ISIS TS2 facility combines a linear and circular particle accelerator to fire a beam of protons into a 'target' of thin metal sheets. This bombardment produces scattered neutrons (by a process known as spallation) that can be used to visualise and study materials at an atomic level. Neutron scattering experiments reveal the positioning and behaviour of atoms, allowing researchers to measure the spacing and forces between them.

The emphasis for the 'ISIS Target Station 2' (ISIS TS2) project was to provide European researchers with better access to unique and specialised instrumentation needed for interdisciplinary studies using this process. These instruments have proven particularly beneficial for investigating soft condensed matter, biomolecular science, advanced materials and nanoscale science.

The success of the project can be measured first in the construction of the necessary buildings and services, extracted proton beam, target station and moderators. Next came the achievement of 1,000 hours of successful use of the unit's extracted proton beam, a task made trickier by some components needed for very low operating temperatures. Originally having set out to build seven instruments, six are now operating for experiments by external users and the seventh is in the commissioning stage.

Opening the ISIS TS2 facilities to external researchers should help Europe maintain its international leadership in neutron scattering capability – and, as a result, stay ahead in many areas of research, technology and engineering.

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