Concept

Neutron diffraction

Summary
Neutron diffraction or elastic neutron scattering is the application of neutron scattering to the determination of the atomic and/or magnetic structure of a material. A sample to be examined is placed in a beam of thermal or cold neutrons to obtain a diffraction pattern that provides information of the structure of the material. The technique is similar to X-ray diffraction but due to their different scattering properties, neutrons and X-rays provide complementary information: X-Rays are suited for superficial analysis, strong x-rays from synchrotron radiation are suited for shallow depths or thin specimens, while neutrons having high penetration depth are suited for bulk samples. Instrumental and sample requirements The technique requires a source of neutrons. Neutrons are usually produced in a nuclear reactor or spallation source. At a research reactor, other components are needed, including a crystal monochromator (in the case of thermal neutrons), as well as filters t
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