Mission Statement

Analyzing the structure of inhomogeneities, from minerals to biological tissues.

Instrument Description

USANS is designed for the study of hierarchical structures in natural and artificial materials. It can be considered an advanced version of the classical Bonse-Hart double-crystal diffractometer (DCD), which in contrast with its single-wavelength reactor-based analog, will operate with the discrete multiwavelength spectrum of Bragg reflections.

The optical scheme of the USANS instrument is similar to that of the conventional Bonse-Hart DCD; however, the pulsed nature of SNS offers an opportunity to separate the orders of Bragg reflection in time space using the time-of-flight technique. Thus, the concept of the USANS technique allows optimization of the neutron flux and the Q resolution, following the principles of dynamical diffraction theory.


Ultra-small-angle neutron scattering provides a new way to solve a broad range of scientific problems such as:

  • Supramolecular structure of polymer blends
  • Macroscale self-similarity of rocks
  • Structure of colloidal crystals and alloys
  • Hydration of cement pastes
  • Aggregation in colloidal dispersions
  • Self-assembling of polymers
  • Mesoscopic structure of natural composites
  • Structure of granular powders
  • Morphology of colloidal reinforcing fillers
  • Structure and morphology of complex fluids
  • Rheology and morphology of hydrogels