High-flux, broadband, cold neutron imaging instrument (Under Design)

CUPI2D |  ST-10 | STS

Instrument Description

CUPI2D (Complex, Unique and Powerful Imaging Instrument for Dynamics) is designed to combine direct and indirect imaging across a broad range of length and time scales. The instrument combines Bragg edge imaging and neutron grating interferometry. CUPI2D is designed for applications that involve length scales from angstroms to micrometers, and time scales from minutes to hours. Leveraging the high flux of cold neutrons from the high-brightness STS cylindrical moderator, CUPI2D permits in situ and in operando experiments.

Samples can be placed at locations from ~18 to ~33 meters from the moderator, with a field of view ranging from ~3x3 cm2 to ~15x15 cm2. For measurements at 33 meters, the wavelength bandwidth will be ~8 angstroms, and the wavelength resolution will be ~0.4%.


Engineering materials

  • Defects in advanced materials, such as additively manufactured alloys
  • Hydrogen embrittlement and crack initiation
  • Degradation and failure mechanisms in critical structures

Cementitious materials

  • Pore structures
  • Embedded interfaces
  • Phase formation under thermal and mechanical loading

Nuclear materials

  • Precipitation in light water reactor fuel cladding
  • Microscale and mesoscale defects for advanced reactor materials

Biology and ecosystems

  • Complex interplay of water, nutrients, and carbon across the rhizosphere
  • Soil aggregation and soil biofilm formation

Medical and dental biomaterials

  • Relationship between bone growth, strain and porosity after restorative surgery
  • Tumor structures, margins, and vascular networks


Beam spectrum Cold, thermal
Moderator Cylindrical Coupled Hydrogen (20 K)
Wavelength bandwidth ~8Å
Spatial resolution 10 to 100 microns
Resolution Δd/d ~0.4%
Source-to-detector distance 21m to 33m
Sample-to-detector distance A few mm to tens of cm
Detection system and resolution Micro-channel plate Timepix4 detectors; cameras (sCMOSs or Timepix camera): down to few microns of spatial resolution
Flux on sample(n/s/cm2) 1×107 to 1×109 depending on the L/D setting
Field of View Up to 15cm × 15cm in 2D imaging