Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

IDT proposal deadline Jan 16th 2013

New IDT proposals are being requested for the current round. Proposals must be received by the deadline of Jan 16th 2013 to be considered. Beamtime will be allocated in the current cycle ending May 30th 2013.

Not an IDT member? Membership to the IDT is open to all interested parties who are prepared to invest their time in helping develop the capabilities of the instrument. Please click here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

High pressure record for neutrons broken again!

The Geophysical Laboratory neutron group has tested a new design of a poly-crystalline diamond supported diamond cell (PCD-DAC), that has allowed diffraction data to be collected at 78.3 GPa.
The new device uses a massively supported anvil designed by Boehler & Guthrie, and retains optical access to the sample.

The data quality in the cell is excellent (see previous post for example of a short, 10 minute, dataset).

Two anvils and gasket after eventual "blowout" one of the anvils was reduced to a small pile of diamond dust.   

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Key background source identified.

During recent IDT time it was discovered that downstream collimating jaws are a significant source of background. The line-of-sight to detectors has to traverse 0.5" B4C plate, so this had in the past been overlooked. The addition of substantial amounts of borated poly and further B4C plates blocking this line-of-sight has halved background levels when a DAC is in place.

Figure shows the raw focused counts from a 10 minute dataset from a ~50ug sample of (our favourite calibrant) ice VII in a diamond anvil cell at 10 GPa.  The clear Bragg peaks are from the sample. The signal to background level is actually better than that achieved with the much larger volume Paris-Edinburgh cells.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

UT Austin researchers test Low temperature DAC set-up

front to back (Marshall, Lin & Guthrie) in SNAP cave
 Afu Lin, Junjie Wu and Luke Marshall from UT Austin along with Malcolm Guthrie (GL) tested the first iteration of the low-temperature membrane set-up on SNAP.

Much of the beamtime was spent optimising the windows and collimation on the CCR tank but, eventually, count rates were achieved that were only 10% higher than without the tank. With further design work, it's likely that this can be improved.
Marshall and Wu with inner CCR attachment on cold head

The cell was found to cool rapidly to 53K and was stable. We were then able to pressurise the sample, but found this caused the temperature to increase to ~70K.

With input from Lin, clear design improvements to the cooling connections were conceived and sub 30K operation is likely in the future

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New membrane driver for DACs available

A new membrane driver for DAC's on SNAP has been developed and built.  Early commissioning has shown that it performs to specification and high quality data can be measured. The relatively low mass of this driver is expected to allow rapid cooling of the DAC to temperatures below 30 K. Cooling tests will be conducted in the next 1-2 weeks.

Images show the membrane and clamp system. (The upper image also shows new diffracted beam collimator developed by M. Guthrie and J. Molaison)

IDT members Reini Boehler, Stas Sinogeikin and Malcolm Guthrie, in collaboration with Facility staff Jamie Molaison and Neelam Pradhan contributed to the membrane design