LENS Webinar #8,
New Directions in Instrumentation

IMAT (Imaging and Materials Science & Engineering) is a neutron imaging and diffraction instrument at the ISIS, UK

Dr Genoveva Burca (ISIS):
‘Exploring the potential of neutron imaging and diffraction techniques on IMAT instrument at ISIS, UK’

11 February 2021, 11:00am CET

Chair: Markus Strobl, Paul Scherrer Institute

Join via Zoom: https://ill.zoom.us/j/99877481390


The need to enhance the material analysis capabilities at ISIS and complement the existing neutron instruments led to the construction of a new cutting-edge neutron imaging and diffraction beamline for materials science and engineering (IMAT) [1, 2] at the second target station at ISIS, UK. Currently, in addition to conventional ‘white-beam’ neutron radiography and tomography applications, IMAT is offering energy-selective imaging for mapping microstructural properties down to a spatial resolution of 50 microns. IMAT will also offer residual strain analysis, phase analysis and texture analysis by neutron diffraction starting 2022.

The complementarity between neutron tomography and neutron diffraction will be exploited through the tomography driven diffraction technique [3] (TDD) based on the SScanSS software [4] for different samples drawn from the engineering, archaeology and geology. This approach will allow neutron-imaging investigations of samples followed by a detailed diffraction analysis of the regions of interest by selecting any point within the 2D or 3D sample. The diffraction scans could benefit from sample geometry acquired through imaging data, in terms of positioning accuracy, in order to get more focussed information about the stress state or the material’s composition at a particular point something which often cannot be obtained by diffraction alone.

Wide ranges of scientific and technological areas and topics have already been covered on IMAT spanning from engineering to life sciences. Moreover complementary studies with synchrotron imaging from other facilities (e.g. Diamond) are being considered to identify new ways of combining neutron and X-ray imaging research. The results achieved by scientists who had the opportunity to use IMAT neutron imaging capabilities look very promising unveiling new directions in our innovative interdisciplinary research.

[1] Burca, G. et al., Modelling of an imaging beamline at the ISIS pulsed neutron source, Journal of Instrumentation, 8 (2013), no 10

[2] Kockelmann, W. et al., Time-of-Flight Neutron Imaging on IMAT@ISIS: A New User Facility for Materials Science, J. Imaging, 4(3) (2018), 47

[3] Burca, G. et al., A new bridge technique for neutron tomography and diffraction measurements, NIMA, 651 (1) (2011) 229-235

[4] J. A. James, J. R. Santisteban, L. Edwards and M. R. Daymond, A virtual laboratory for neutron and synchrotron strain scanning, Physica B: Condensed Matter, 350 (1-3) (2004), 743–746

Dr Genoveva Burca is neutron imaging and diffraction scientist on the IMAT beamline at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, Oxfordshire, UK and visiting researcher at the University of Manchester, Faculty of Science and Engineering. She is responsible for the implementation of the neutron diffraction capabilities on IMAT after successfully working on the modelling, design, development and commissioning of the IMAT imaging ones. Her research interests include applications of complementary neutron and x-ray imaging techniques on materials characterization. She collaborates with various research groups from UK, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Canada and India as well as industrial partners (e.g. Rolls Royce, TWI, Swemir) on various projects spanning from life sciences to engineering.

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