X-ray and neutron scattering

Diffraction and spectroscopy of neutrons and x-rays are among the most versatile techniques available for penetrating the mysteries of quantum matter.

Stephen prepares samples of copper oxide for a neutron experiment. Here, six small crystals have been co-aligned to appear as one larger single crystal to improve the accuracy of the measurements.

Information on the structures and dynamics present in quantum materials is vital for understanding the physical properties they display. By exploiting the interaction of neutrons and x-rays with matter we can gather this information at the atomic level. Experiments employ state-of-the-art generation, detection and data analysis technology and range in size from in-house, single-crystal x-ray diffractometers to the large, central facilities of Diamond and ISIS located 15 miles outside Oxford. Using these, and other international laboratories, our research groups are able to understand structural, charge and magnetic ordering in quantum matter on the nanometre length scale.

Hydrogen ordering leads to the formation of ice XV, identified for the first time using neutron scattering experiments. Measurements performed at the ISIS neutron source also show that this new phase has antiferroelectric properties.
See Salzmann et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 105701 (2009).

Groups using this technique