Nested neutron microfocusing optics on SNAP
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The high source intensity of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), together with efficient detectors and large detector solid angles, now makes possible neutron experiments with much smaller sample volumes than previously were practical. Nested Kirkpatrick–Baez supermirror optics provide a promising and efficient way to further decrease the useable neutron sample size by focusing polychromatic neutrons into microbeams. Because the optics are nondispersive, they are ideal for spallation sources and for polychromatic and wide bandpass experiments on reactor sources. Theoretical calculations indicate that nested mirrors can preserve source brilliance at the sample for small beams and for modest divergences that are appropriate for diffraction experiments. Although the flux intercepted by a sample can be similar with standard beam-guided approaches, the signal-to-background is much improved with small beams on small samples. Here we describe the design, calibration and performance of a nested neutron mirror pair for the Spallation Neutrons At Pressure (SNAP) beamline at the SNS. High-pressure neutron diffraction is but one example of a large class of neutron experiments that will benefit from spatially-resolved microdiffraction.
KeywordsMirror System Image Distance Leaf Spring Focal Spot Size Small Beam
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