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

TitleElectrostatic levitation facility optimized for neutron diffraction studies of high temperature liquids at a spallation neutron source
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMauro, NA, Vogt, AJ, Derendorf, KS, Johnson, ML, Rustan, GE, Quirinale, DG, Kreyssig, A, Lokshin, KA, Neuefeind, JC, An, K, Wang, XL, Goldman, AI, Egami, T, Kelton, KF
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Volume87
Pagination013904
Date Published01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0034-6748
Accession NumberWOS:000369430900030
KeywordsMedium-range order, melts, metallic glasses, x-ray-diffraction
Abstract

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. However, 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%. 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 (similar to 100 mg). (C) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC.

DOI10.1063/1.4939194
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