Deuteration Service

Neutron scattering experiments, particularly on soft matter, often require precise labelling in order to target selected parts of the material to be studied. Due to the large quantity of hydrogen atoms in soft matter and the marked contrast between hydrogen and its isotope deuterium, selectively replacing hydrogen atoms with deuterium is a versatile strategy to influence the contrast within a material.

In order to make partially or fully deuterated materials available to users of MLZ instruments, the JCNS offers a synthesis service for deuterated materials, primarily from our core competence areas of polymers and ethoxylation (e.g. surfactants). Therefore, we will regularly hold calls for synthesis proposals. If you are interested, please contact us via email (

Our current synthesis catalogue:





Category I (standard materials)

Polybutadiene (PB), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene oxide (PEO)

Alcohol ethoxylates (CxEGy, Brij®), Polysorbates* (Tween®), Sorbitan fatty acid esters* (Span®)


Category II (more demanding synthesis)

Polyisoprene (PI), Polypropylene oxide (PPO), Polybutylene oxide (PBO), Polyacrylates, Polymethacrylates (e.g. PNIPAM), Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)

Cationic surfactants


Category III (misc.)


Upon request


* with protonated sugar

Deuteration Service

Now available: deuterated polyethylene glycol oligomers (pdf)

In addition, we offer the following:

  • various polymer architectures (e.g. block copolymers, rings, stars)
  • specific deuteration (e.g. randomly distributed h/d monomers for specific scattering length densities for matching D2O, h- or d-blocks in the polymer
  • functionalization of polymers with different groups (e.g. supramolecular materials, binding to biomolecules or nanoparticles).

The synthesis of the deuterated materials takes place at JCNS-1 in Jülich. Standard materials can be produced by us within a calculable time frame and can therefore usually be ready within a few weeks. Materials with a complex synthesis (e.g. polymers from non-commercially available deuterated monomers) require more lead time. Other materials not listed here may also be available after prior consultation. We offer development work with priority given to scientifically excellent proposals. Longer-term collaborations are also possible. On-site support in Jülich from the user during synthesis means that, with the appropriate prior knowledge, the prompt realisation of more complex syntheses, especially in the case of non-standard materials, can also be achieved.

JCNS Deuteration Service


  • Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS)
  • Neutron Scattering and Soft Matter (JCNS-1)
Building 04.8 /
Room N275
+49 2461/61-2541
  • Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS)
  • Neutron Scattering and Soft Matter (JCNS-1)
Building 04.8 /
Room 288
+49 2461/61-3634

Last Modified: 29.08.2022