Department of Neutron Physics

The activity of the Neutron Physics Department has been focusing basically in two directions:

  • Fundamental and Applied Research with Thermal Neutrons at the Reactor LWR-15
  • Nuclear Analytical Methods with Charged Particles at the Van de Graaff and Tandetron accelerators

Fundamental and Applied Research with Thermal Neutrons

The neutron research has been carried out at five horizontal beam channels of the reactor LVR-15 which are hired at the Research Centre Řež, Ltd. Scattering of neutrons is used to study structure of materials in various size scales, from ordering of atoms in crystal lattice to microscopic heterogeneities on nano- and microscopic scales. High penetration of neutrons in most materials permits to cary out these tests non-destructively in the bulk and/or inside special sample environment (low and high temperatures, mechanical load). Nuclear reactions of neutrons with matter are employed to analyze concentration profiles of light elements in solids. Our experimental facilities are opened to external users. Neutron Physics Laboratory participates in the Transnational Access to Large Facilities programme in the frame of FP7 NMI3 project where we have offered to European neutron community 5 experimental facilities: Neutron strain scanning, Small-angle neutron scattering, Neutron depth profiling and Neutron activation analysis and Radiative thermal neutron capture.

Nuclear Analytical Methods with Charged Particles

Two electrostatic accelerators, old Van de Graaff and new Tandetron 4130 MC are used for modification and characterization of micro- a nano structured materials. Installation of new analytical devices in the Tandetron laboratory is in progress. The RBS-channeling device for analyses of crystalline materials and ERDA-TOF device for depth profiling of light elements were put into routine operation. Ion microprobe, unique in CR, was installed in 2009.  The Tandetron based device for high energy ion implantation has been in routine use. The research activities of the group has mainly been concentrated on preparation, modification  and characterization of polymer-metal composites (collaboration with  Institute of Chemical technology-Prague, the University of J.E Purkyne-Ústí nad Labem and Kazan Physical-Technical Institute-Russia), chalkogenide glasses (University of Pardubice), optical coatings (Institute of Physics AS), B-C-N-Si based hard coatings  (University of West Bohemia), bioactive materials  (Institute of Physiology AS), diamond-like and siloxan based coatings (Masaryk University, TU Brno). Other activities include the study of diffusion of water solutions in minerals (Nuclear research Institute), development of ion beam based analytical techniques (collaboration with FZR Rossendorf-Germany) and testing of position sensitive detectors (Institute of Technical and Experimental Physics-Prague).