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PIONEER, a high-resolution single-crystal polarized neutron diffractometer...

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Review of Scientific Instruments
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PIONEER is a high Q-resolution, single-crystal, polarized neutron diffractometer at the Second Target Station (STS), Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It will provide the unprecedented capability of measuring tiny crystals (0.001 mm3, i.e., x-ray diffraction size), ultra-thin films (10 nm thickness), and weak structural and magnetic transitions. PIONEER benefits from the increased peak brightness of STS cold-neutron sources and uses advanced Montel mirrors that are able to deliver a focused beam with a high brilliance transfer, a homogeneous profile, and a low background. Monte Carlo simulations suggest that the optimized instrument has a high theoretical peak brilliance of 2.9 × 1012 n cm−2 sr−1 Å−1 s−1 at 2.5 Å at the sample position, within a 5 × 5 mm2 region and a ±0.3° divergence range. The moderator-to-sample distance is 60 m, providing a nominal wavelength band of 4.3 Å with a wavelength resolution better than 0.2% in the wavelength range of 1.0–6.0 Å. PIONEER is capable of characterizing large-scale periodic structures up to 200 Å. With a sample-to-detector distance of 0.8 m, PIONEER accommodates various sample environments, including low/high temperature, high pressure, and high magnetic/electric field. A large cylindrical detector array (4.0 sr) with a radial collimator is planned to suppress the background scattering from sample environments. Bottom detector banks provide an additional 0.4 sr coverage or can be removed if needed to accommodate special sample environments. We present virtual experimental results to demonstrate the scientific performance of PIONEER in measuring tiny samples.