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 LVR-15
  • Nuclear Analytical Methods with Charged Particles at the Tandetron accelerator


Fundamental and Applied Research with Thermal Neutrons

Neutron Physics Laboratory (NPL) is a part of the CANAM infrastructure. NPL mission is to perform neutron-physics experiments according to the NPI research programme as well as to provide experimental facilities and research experience to external users from Czech Republic and all over the world in Open Access mode. The neutron channels hired at nuclear research reactor LVR-15 of the Research Centre Řež are employed for materials research using neutron diffraction as well as for experiments in nuclear physics and for neutron activation analysis.
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 carry 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 concentrations or concentration profiles of elements in solids as well as for fundamental nuclear physics.

Nuclear Analytical Methods with Charged Particles

New electrostatic accelerator, Tandetron 4130 MC, is 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 CAS), B-C-N-Si based hard coatings  (University of West Bohemia), bioactive materials  (Institute of Physiology CAS), 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).