Neutron Scattering Studies of Superionic Conductors

Part of the Topics in Current Physics book series (TCPHY, volume 15)


Over the past 30 years, neutron diffraction and inelastic scattering have proved to be invaluable techniques for the study of structure and dynamics of solids. Although the neutron flux impinging upon a sample in a neutron instrument is several orders of magnitude less than photon flux available in X-ray sources, the favorable scattering properties of neutrons as compared to X-rays more than compensates for the lack of intensity. We shall not attempt to review the bases of neutron scattering since there exist several excellent reviews on the properties of neutrons and their use [3.1–4]. Descriptions of the instrumentation have also been adequately discussed in these references. Suffice it to say that the irregular, but limited, variation of scattering lengths within the periodic table and the low kinetic energy of a thermal neutron beam make it possible to probe positions and dynamics of almost all elements in the periodic table. Because X-rays have extremely large energies and interact with the electrons of an atom, high-resolution inelastic studies are presently impossible and the observation of light elements in compounds containing heavy elements is extremely difficult. However, the combined use of X-ray and neutron diffraction has proved invaluable in unraveling structures of complicated solids and alloys [3.5].


Dispersion Curve Tetrahedral Site Superionic Conductor Phonon Dispersion Curve Quasielastic Scattering 
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