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ORNL seeks to add second target at Spallation Neutron Source

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 30, 2015 – The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory hopes to add a second target station at its Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) in the next 10 years in order to enhance capabilities of in-depth studies of the molecular structure of materials.

Ken Herwig of Oak Ridge’s Neutron Sciences Directorate said the potentially billion dollar construction project of a second target station would open new opportunities in material science research.

“The second target station will emphasize the production of long wave neutrons,” Herwig said. “These are predominantly used for soft materials and complex materials and will address complexity as kind of a unifying science theme for that facility.”

A second target station will enable SNS users from around the world greater research access compared to what they already have.

“In addition to things that we do study now, we will be able to do much better with an instrument optimized for them on the second target station,” Herwig said. “Often now we have to use multiple instruments to look at the same type of science problem or the same sample. To answer those questions, we’ll be able to do that on a single instrument at a single time.”

A recent workshop held for material science users highlighted all of the advantages of the second target station.

“This is the chance for the community to weigh in collectively on both the science that we expect to do at the seconds target station, what they need to do that they can’t do now and then also to select their priority instruments,” said Herwig, who hosted the workshop. “We will take eight to 10 of those and continue to develop those concepts as we head toward a conceptual design report for the second target station.”

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit <>.