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43rd IFF Spring School

Scattering Methods for Condensed Matter Research:
Towards Novel Applications at Future Sources

5-16 March 2012 . Jülich . Germany


The IFF Spring School & Scattering Methods in Jülich

The IFF Spring Schools were first brought into being in 1970 by the Jülich “Institute of Solid State Research” (IFF). Since then, the schools have made it possible for students and young scientists to gain a two-week insight into a current topic related to condensed matter physics. In 2011, IFF was dissolved as part of a restructuring process within Forschungszentrum Jülich, and new institutes, namely the “Peter Grünberg Institute” (PGI), the “Jülich Centre for Neutron Science” (JCNS) and the “Institute of Complex Systems” (ICS) were established. Together with the “Institute for Advanced Simulation” (IAS), the three institutes will continue to organize the IFF Spring Schools. The 43rd Spring School 2012, on the topic of “Scattering Methods for Condensed Matter Research: Towards Novel Applications at Future Sources”, will be organized jointly by ICS-1/JCNS-1 “Neutron Scattering” and PGI-4/JCNS-2 “Scattering Methods”.

The Institute for Neutron Scattering conducts neutron research, focusing mainly on soft matter. This term is used to indicate materials which respond strongly to weak forces. Typical examples are rubber materials and emulsions.

In addition to their structure, the dynamics of these systems are also of interest. Neutron scattering allows us to investigate both of these aspects simultaneously. The institute has modern chemical laboratories at its disposal in order to produce or alter soft matter. As well as neutron scattering instruments, we make use of various standard methods in order to study and characterize soft matter.

At the Institute for Scattering Methods, work focuses on the investigation of structural and magnetic orders, fluctuations and excitations in complex or nanostructured magnetic systems and highly correlated electron systems with the aid of the most advanced synchrotron X-ray and neutron scattering methods. Our aim is to relate this microscopic information to macroscopic physical properties and functionalities. The systems being investigated have huge potential for future applications in information technology. For this reason, the institute forms part of the Peter Grünberg Institute, the Jülich platform for basic research in the area of nanoelectronics. We employ the most advanced synchrotron X-ray and neutron scattering methods in our microscopic research techniques and place great emphasis on the complementary role of both these probes. A further aspect of our work lies in preparing samples and sample characterization.


The development of novel scattering techniques and the construction and continuous improvement of instruments on large scale devices are the main focal points of the work of both institutes that together make up the “Jülich Centre for Neutron Science”. JCNS operates neutron scattering instruments at leading facilities, such as the research reactor FRM II in Garching, the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) in Oak Ridge, USA. Furthermore, the institute contributes to “scattering methods” in a sector of the “Advanced Photon Source” APS in Argonne, USA. All these instruments are accessible via a peer-review system to external users.