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High Brilliance Neutron Source

The high brilliance accelerator-based neutron source HBS represents a unique infrastructure for neutron analysis (imaging methods and scattering) to be used in a multitude of scientifc disciplines such as physics, chemistry, biology, geology, materials and engineering sciences.

The newest developments in the area of targets, moderators, beam extraction, beam guidance and neutron optics, make the realization of an extremely compact neutron source possible, with accelerators of relative low final particle energy. Thanks to its target stations dedicated to specific applications and optimized for investigating small samples, it ideally complements the larger international facilities such as the future European Spallation Source ESS.  


Scientific Background

Due to their unique properties, neutrons are the ideal probes for studies in condensed matter. They tell us where atoms are, what kind of spin they have and how they move. A source which has been optimized for brilliance, providing small, intensive beams for customized instruments will intensify the use of neutron analysis to many modern scientific research questions arising from nanostructures or in biological materials and offer a spatial resolution appropriate to the systems used in energy technology or structural materials.

Future Prospects

The development of new materials and material systems made possible by the rapid advances of modern technology on which society's future prosperity is based, is closely associated with the availablilty of efficient microscopic analysis methods. Neutrons are a vital tool for scientists of many disciplines. The variety and complexity of research questions requires a network of different sources for training, method development and specialization. In this network, the HBS plays a central role. Within the "Strategy Paper on Neutron Research in Germany 2015 - 2045" in the research area "Materials", the HBS is presented as a future national neutron source.

For further information:

 The Jülich High Brilliance Neutron Source Project (PDF, 1 MB)  


Facts and Figures
Time scaleBuilding phase 2028 - 2033
Estimated CostsPreparation/planning costs: €10 million
Investment costs: € 200 million in total (as of 2014)
Running costs: € 20 million per year
International dimensionsThe HBS will play an important role in international networks of neutron sources. The development of compact sources is growing in importance within the framework of the "International Collaboration on Advanced Neutron Sources" ICANS
Role of the centre/s

Forschungszentrum Jülich is the sole applicant. The HBS will be at Forschungszentrum Jülich

Further information

 Strategy paper of neutron research in Germany 2015 - 2045 (PDF, 301 kB)

 Helmholtz-Roadmap für Forschungsinfrastrukturen II 2015 (PDF, 4 MB) (in German)

U. Rücker, T. Cronert, J. Voigt, J. P. Dabruck, P.-E. Doege, J. Ulrich, R. Nabbi, Y. Beßler, M. Butzek, M. Büscher, C. Lange, M. Klaus, T. Gutberlet and T. Brückel
The Jülich high-brilliance neutron source project
European Physical Journal Plus (2016), 131:19
DOI: 10.1140/epjp/i2016-16019-5









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