Mission Statement

Slow dynamics of soft condensed matter.

Instrument Description

The SNS NSE instrument provides ultrahigh resolution spectroscopy with a Fourier time range that covers τ = 1 ps to 350 ns and a high effective neutron flux, aiming to be one of the best of its class in both resolution and dynamic range (please refer to the instrument fact sheet for a detailed current status). The additional magnetic shielding offers reliable and precise operation even under stray fields of neighbouring magentic sources. Researchers use this instrument to investigate soft condensed matter and complex fluids applications in a variety of fields. The design of the NSE spectrometer takes full advantage of recent progress in neutron optics and polarizing supermirror microbenders resulting in considerable gains in polarized neutron flux over a wide wavelength range. For the future, plans are to develop novel field correction elements to extend the maximum achievable Fourier time (i.e., the resolution). Using wavelengths of 2 Å < λ < 14 Å, an unprecedented dynamical range of up to six decades can be achieved in theory.


Although the NSE spectrometer is designed primarily for soft-matter research, its capabilities also make it useful for all fields of modern condensed matter physics, materials science, and biophysics. This instrument is especially suited for analyzing slow dynamical processes and thereby unraveling molecular motions and mobilities at nanoscopic and mesoscopic levels. This feature is highly relevant to soft-matter problems in research on the molecular rheology of polymer melts, related phenomena in networks and rubbers, interface fluctuations in complex fluids and polyelectrolytes, and transport in polymeric electrolytes and gel systems. NSE could also aid studies in magnetism if appropriately adapted.


  1. M. Ohl, M. Monkenbusch, N. Arend, T. Kozielewski, G. Vehres, C. Tiemann, M. Butzek, H. Soltner, U. Giesen, R. Achten, H. Stelzer, B. Lindenau, A. Budwig, H. Kleines, M. Drochner, P. Kaemmerling, M. Wagener, R. Moeller, E.B. Iverson, M. Sharp, D. Richter
    “The spin-echo spectrometer at the spallation neutron source (SNS)” 
    Nucl. Instr. Meth. Phys. Res. Sec. A 696, 85 (2012)
  2. H. Soltner, U. Pabst, M. Butzek, M. Ohl, T. Kozielewski, M. Monkenbusch, D. Sokol, L. Maltin, E. Lindgren, S. Koch, D. Fugate
    “Design, construction, and performance of a magnetically shielded room for a neutron spin-echo spectrometer”
    Nucl. Instr. Meth. Phys. Res. A 644, 40 (2011)
  3. W. Walter, C. Boffo, M. Borlein, T. Kozielewski, M. Monkenbusch, M. Ohl, P. Amitesh, B. Schrauth, G. Sikler, C. Tiemann
    “Design, manufacturing and performance of a pair of superconducting solenoids for a neutron spin-echo spectrometer at the SNS”
    IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond. 19, 1320 (2009)
  4. H. Stelzer, C. Weissbacher, H. Soltner, F. Janssen, M. Butzek, T. Kozielewski, B. Lindenau, M. Monkenbusch, M. Ohl
    “Investigation of the temperature rise due to eddy currents in large chopper disks operated at polarized neutron beamlines”
    Nucl. Instr. Meth. Phys. Res. A 594, 228 (2008)
  5. M. Ohl, M. Monkenbusch, T. Kozielewski, B. Laatsch, Ch. Tiemann, D. Richter
    “Correction elements for ultra-high resolution NSE spectrometer”
    Physica B 356, 234 (2005)