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. Deformation 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 relevant publication from the instrument page. We also welcome new experimental ideas. Before writing proposals, if you have any questions about your experiment needs, please contact the instrument staff directly.

VULCAN accepts general user proposals, industrial application program proposals, proof-of-principle proposals. 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. The industrial application program is available throughout the year around given beam availability. The proof-of-principle proposal is usually for quick testing of ideas and sample statistics and is limited by 1 day of beam time. 

For preparing a proposal, the proposal template can be found in the IPTS system. In addition to the standard requirements in the 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.

VULCAN now accepts mail-in proposals! For how to prepare a mail-in proposal please go to the next "mail-in program" page.

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 the 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 nanometers, it would be hard to measure, if in mm sale, the signal would be spotty).
    • Size of the 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 environments.
    • 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-strain curves for proposed in-situ loading experiments are one of the important pieces of information for successful experiment planning.