Information for VULCAN Users

Become a VULCAN User

  1. Contact us for capabilities, experiment design, and development of proposals.
  2. Refer to VULCAN Proposal Key Points before writing the proposal.
  3. Submit your proposal in IPTS.

Experiment Capability

Refer to the overview and proposal pages for problems that VULCAN is used for. 

Approved Proposals

You will be notified of an experiment date and will need to confirm the date by replying to the email and the experiment including samples in the IPTS system.

Prepare and Ship Your Samples

Sample Geometry

Typical sample geometry is recommended for different types of measurement in the document links below. Contact the instrument team for other sample geometry if your sample needs customization.

Ship your samples

Shipping samples is recommended and shipping instructions are available on the For Users page and do not forget to confirm your samples in the IPTS system. before shipping.

We recommend VULCAN standard samples. If you cannot provide standard sample geometry, please prepare grip adapters.

Ship back your samples after an experiment 

An official address will be required if you want irradiated samples to be sent back to you. For some cases, samples containing a large fraction of certain elements( e.g. Co) cannot be cleared from radioactivities, and only certified facilities can receive those radioactive samples. 

Plan Your Trip for on-site Experiment

The User Office will contact you about the site access and proper training. You have the option to stay at the ORNL Guest House, which is located on the SNS site. For complex experiments, two to three users are recommended.

On-site training

Before you can conduct an experiment, you will be asked to conduct a few on-site and facility training. Instrument-specific training will be given by instrument staff, including safety, operations, and data reduction, etc. Tutorial videos are available. 

For Remote Experiment

For a remote experiment proposal, you will be notified to prepare your samples accordingly, and you may also be required to prepare a clear testing plan, for example, mechanical loading curve or temperature heating profile for an in-situ experiment, or measurement locations for mapping experiment. You and your team members may be invited to participate in the experiment remotely. Please note, this still requires a normal site access pass, which our user office will contact you.

Monitor your experiment and data collection progress.

You can monitor the experiment by any means, either for the remote or on-site experiments, see the Neutron DAQ Status and Instrument Status for more information.

VDRIVE: VULCAN Data Reduction and Interactive Visualization software

  1. Get an XCAMS account (the same one that you used in IPTS system). If you do not have an account, you can request one.
  2. Go to and follow the instructions for remote window access.
  3. Use VDRIVE to perform data reduction or analysis. The VDRIVE manual is a good reference and log on the data analysis computer for the up-to-date version ( ).

For computer access issues contact For use of the VDRIVE software, contact VULCAN instrument team. Some instruction videos are: 

Note: for data collected after Feb 2021, load VDRVE by typing @vdrivex in IDL.

  1. How to remotely open VDRIVE in idl on data analysis computer?
  2. How to access the VULCAN data folder?
  3. How to VIEW single Vulcan data in VDRIVE?
  4. How to chop Vulcan data in VDRIVE?
  5. How to VIEW sequential data in 2D or 3D plots in VDRIVE?
  6. How to do single peak fitting in VDRIVE?
  7. Batch Rietveld Refinement - I. Create GSAS Refinement Template for VDRIVE
  8. Batch Rietveld Refinement - II. Use VDRIVE to Refine in Batch
  9. How to convert the data format from .gda for GSAS to .xye for TOPAS?

VULCAN Instrument Performance (Instrument broadening)

The VULCAN instrument uses time-of-flight powder diffraction to understand the properties of the materials. The determined resolution limit for VULCAN is described in the figure below and can be downloaded in a spreadsheet format as well. The peak broadening season is measured from Si standard. It would convolute with your sample measurement data. To deconvolute, follow the equation by Broadening_sample^2=Broadening_measurement^2-Broadending_instrument^2. For a specific measurement, an instrument scientist may provide you an appropriate Si measurement. 

Instrument Resolution at VULCAN - HR ModeInstrument Resolution at VULCAN - HI Mode

VULCAN Resolution Table 2019B

VULCAN Resolution Information 2019B

Vulcan instrument resolution at high-flux modeVulcan instrument resolution at high-resolution mode (previous HR)Vulcan instrument resolution at super-high-flux mode (previous HI)

VULCAN Resolution Table 2021B

VULCAN Resolution Information 2021B

Download/Upload Your Data

Client mode: Use an SFTP client to transfer data between your own computer and the data on the server. FileZilla and Cyberduck are free ones that work across different platforms. The server is; the port for SFTP is 22.

Publish Results

Please review your primary obligations regarding the facility acknowledgment statement and notifying the User Office. Contact the User Office with questions.