Chemical and Engineering Materials

Neutron-based research at SNS and HFIR in Chemical and Engineering Materials strives to understand the structure and dynamics of chemical systems and novel engineering materials. The user community takes advantage of capabilities of neutron scattering for measurements over wide ranges of experimental and operating conditions, including studies of chemical and physical changes in situ. User experiments with diffraction, small-angle scattering, inelastic and quasi-elastic scattering, and neutron imaging instruments address a range of problems in chemistry and in engineering materials research.

Current areas of research supported within Chemical and Engineering Materials include:

  • The structure and dynamics of electrical energy storage materials and systems
  • The performance of engineering materials under varying environments
  • Fundamentals of structure under extreme pressure and/or temperature conditions
  • The effects of processing conditions on material performance

Research Highlights

Energy and Environmental Solutions Under Our Feet

Mix of neutron scattering techniques helps resolve critical problems of confining greenhouse gases and extracting methane

When you heat water in a kettle, you can make tea or coffee. But what happens if the vessel is sealed? Ultimately, at a temperature called the liquid-gas critical...

Neutron Imaging Reveals Lithium Distribution in Lithium-Air Electrodes

The next step in revolutionizing electric vehicle capacity

Using neutron-computed tomography, researchers at the CG-1D neutron imaging instrument at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) have successfully mapped the three-dimensional spatial distribution...

SNS Diffractometer puts the squeeze on methane hydrate cages, unraveling its high-pressure structure

Compressed by 600,000 pounds per square inch, methane clathrate hydrate's high-pressure structure is revealed.

Imagine a robot sent out on the prowl on this energy hungry planet looking for methane, the principal component of what we call “natural gas” and probably the most abundant...