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

Neutrons measure phase behavior in pores at angstrom size

Compelling new methods for assessing carbon pores for hydrogen storage in fuel cells

Researchers have measured the phase behavior of green house gases in pores at the angstrom level, using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s High Flux Isotope...

SNS, HFIR Experiments Help Refine Thin-Film Solar Cells

Solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity have potential to be a widely used renewable energy source. Getting to that point, though, requires breakthroughs in their cost and their efficiency at turning sunbeams into electric current. Neutron scattering experiments conducted at...

Neutron scattering characterizes dynamics in polymer family

Understanding the interplay between structure and dynamics is the key to obtaining tailor-made materials. In the last few years, a large effort has been devoted to characterizing and relating the structure and dynamic properties in families of polymers with alkyl side groups. Now...