VULCAN Proposal Information

There have been many types of experiments that could be conducted on the instrument. For example, stress/strain/phase mapping either by ex-situ or in-situ. Deforemation and hardening mechanisms. Thermomechanical behaviors with loadframe. Phase transformation kinetics during synthesis and under extreme. Atomic occupancy, cation mixing, ordering and disordering in energy materials, and many more. A good practice of learning what this instrument can be used for your research is to find a relatvant publication from the instrument page. We also welcome new experimental idea. Before writing proposals, if you have any questions about your experiment needs, please contact instrument staff directly.

VULCAN accepts general user proposal, industrial application program proposal, proof-of-principle proposal. For the general user proposal, follow the two calls every year, which are in springs and falls, and the conduction of the approved proposals are in fall-winter, and spring-summer beam production cycles. Industrial application program is available through the year around given beam availability. The proof-of-principle proposal is usually for quick testing of ideas and sample statistics and limited by 1 day of beam time. 

For preparing a proposal, the proposal template can be found in IPTS system. In addition to the standard requirements in proposal, the key points below are essential elements the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) considers when assigning a rating to your proposal for beam time on VULCAN. They apply to the Statement of Research, i.e., after the specified sections: Title, PI, abstract, facility requested, days requested, student involvement, experiment team, samples, and sample environment.

Consideration of the key points will 1) encourage you to think through the feasibility and reasonableness of your proposed measurement and 2) provide relevant information to the SRC so they can make a sound judgment.

Key points to include in your Statement of Research

  • What scientific question are you trying to answer?
  • Have you interacted with the VULCAN instrument team?
  • Why neutrons versus other techniques? Such as contrast, penetration, bulk measurements etc.
  • What aspect(s) of VULCAN is/are being exploited: intensity, mapping, event-based data acquisition, open environment, temperature, time?
  • Details of proposed experiment, including:
    • Sketch of sample and measurement geometry (for loading experiment, recommend the use of VULCAN sample geometries.)
    • Sample characterization, e.g., grain size, composition, shape, size ( if less than a few nanometer, it would hard to measure, if in mm sale, the signal would be spotty).
    • Size of beam, ( refer to instrument spect for the instrument beam size range).
    • Method of obtaining stress-free d-spacings (for residual stress measurement).
    • Applied load, temperature, or other environment.
    • Data to be collected and how it will be analyzed, e.g., single peak vs. Rietveld, multiple orientations for tensor determination, load only or load-unload, peak breadths, step-measurements or event-based continuous data acquisition.
  • Preliminary work using neutron scattering or other techniques that support feasibility.
  • Stress stain curves for proposed in-situ loading experiments, this is one of the important information for successful experiment planning.