Rheologica Acta

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 241–250 | Cite as

Simultaneous slit rheometry and in situ neutron scattering

  • Javen S. Weston
  • Daniel P. Seeman
  • Daniel L. Blair
  • Paul F. Salipante
  • Steven D. HudsonEmail author
  • Katie M. WeigandtEmail author
Original Contribution


In situ measurement of fluid structure during flow, e.g., by neutron scattering, is key to understanding the relationship between structure and rheology. For some applications, structures at high shear rates previously unreachable are of particular interest. Here, we report development of a flow cell slit rheometer for neutron scattering (μRheoSANS). The devices were used to measure the structure of a semi-dilute surfactant solution of worm-like micelles during flow. Analysis of the rheometry and scattering data allows isolation of the scattering signal from the high-shear, near-wall region of the flow cell. The reported results agree with those from the existing Couette-based RheoSANS instrument. The worm-like micelles exhibit an alignment transition at Weissenberg number (Wi) ≈ 1, coinciding with the onset of shear thinning. This transition is followed by a peak in micelle alignment at a higher shear rate, after which the degree of alignment decreases moderately. This technique can achieve higher shear rates than existing RheoSANS techniques, expanding the ability to study the structure of complex fluids at elevated shear rates.

Graphical abstract

Using a slit rheometer for in situ neutron scattering, shown here are 2D SANS patterns and schematic velocity profiles for wormlike micelles undergoing pressure-driven flow through a rectangular capillary (left), the same system after isolating the scattering occurring in the near-wall high-shear region (center), and the same micellar fluid undergoing Couette flow at a shear rate equal to the wall shear rate in the shown pressure-driven flow.


Worm-like micelles Slit flow Scattering 



This work benefited from the use of the SasView application, originally developed under NSF Award DMR-0520547. SasView also contains code developed with funding from the EU Horizon 2020 program under the SINE2020 project grant no. 654000. Commercial products mentioned in this work are listed for the purpose of fully describing the experiment and are not an endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Access to NGB30m SANS was provided by the Center for High Resolution Neutron Scattering, a partnership between the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation under Agreement No. DMR-1508249. JSW and DLB acknowledge support from Cooperative Agreement No. 70NANB15H229 from NIST, US Department of Commerce.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

397_2018_1073_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.4 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 3.39 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and Institute for Soft Matter Synthesis and MetrologyGeorgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Materials Science and Engineering DivisionNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA
  3. 3.Center for Neutron ResearchNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA

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