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Title: Electrostatic levitation facility optimized for neutron diffraction studies of high temperature liquids at a spallation neutron source

Neutron diffraction studies of metallic liquids provide valuable information about inherent topological and chemical ordering on multiple length scales as well as insight into dynamical processes at the level of a few atoms. But, there exist very few facilities in the world that allow such studies to be made of reactive metallic liquids in a containerless environment, and these are designed for use at reactor-based neutron sources. We present an electrostatic levitation facility, NESL (for Neutron ElectroStatic Levitator), which takes advantage of the enhanced capabilities and increased neutron flux available at spallation neutron sources (SNSs). NESL enables high quality elastic and inelastic neutron scattering experiments to be made of reactive metallic and other liquids in the equilibrium and supercooled temperature regime. The apparatus is comprised of a high vacuum chamber, external and internal neutron collimation optics, and a sample exchange mechanism that allows up to 30 samples to be processed between chamber openings. Two heating lasers allow excellent sample temperature homogeneity, even for samples approaching 500 mg, and an automated temperature control system allows isothermal measurements to be conducted for times approaching 2 h in the liquid state, with variations in the average sample temperature of less than 0.5%. Furthermore,more » to demonstrate the capabilities of the facility for elastic scattering studies of liquids, a high quality total structure factor for Zr64Ni36 measured slightly above the liquidus temperature is presented from experiments conducted on the nanoscale-ordered materials diffractometer (NOMAD) beam line at the SNS after only 30 min of acquisition time for a small sample ( 100 mg).« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [7] ;  [4] ;  [8] ;  [3]
  1. North Central College, Naperville, IL (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  3. Washington Univ., St. Louis, MO (United States)
  4. Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
  5. Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States); Ames Lab., Ames, IA (United States)
  6. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  7. City Univ., of Hong Kong (China)
  8. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1265812
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; AC02-07CH11358
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Review of Scientific Instruments
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 87; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0034-6748
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Spallation Neutron Source
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY