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China Spallation Neutron Source Opens to Worldwide Users

Aug 24, 2018

 CSNS will provide a powerful research platform for fundamental research and high-tech development in many fields, such as materials science and technology, physics, life sciences, chemistry, resources and environment, new energy. (Image by IHEP)

China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS), a large scientific facility located in Guangdong, China, passed national acceptance on August 23 and will open to worldwide users in various disciplines.

Scientists and engineers from the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) spent six and a half years constructing the facility and completed the project on schedule. CSNS will provide a powerful research platform for fundamental research and high-tech development in many fields, such as materials science and technology, physics, life sciences, chemistry, resources and environment, new energy. Its operation is of great significance to solve some cutting-edge scientific issues, and to develop key technologies for industry in some special fields.

CSNS realized stable and consistent operation since the launch of its trial run in March. Until now, 21 user sample experiments from 16 research groups have been conducted with the initial three instruments of CSNS. These experiments cover a lot of national key development fields, such as lithium-ion battery materials, rare earth magnetism, new high-temperature superconductors, functional films. Two papers about the user experiment results were published in international scientific journals.

"CSNS is like a super microscope and is an ideal probe for studying the micro-structure of materials. For example, we can use neutron scattering technology to study the residual stress of large metal parts, which is very important for improving the design of aircraft engines and key modules for high-speed trains," said CHEN Hesheng, manager of the CSNS project.

Located in Dalang Town, Dongguan City in Guangdong province, CSNS was built with a budget of 2.3 billion RMB. It is composed of an 80 MeV Hˉ linac, a 1.6 GeV rapid cycling synchrotron (RCS) and a target station with three initial instruments used for neutron scattering research.

The review committee agreed that the performance of the spallation neutron source has reached or is even better than the planned acceptance index. The highest neutron efficiency of the target station and the three initial instruments reached international level.

Significant innovative technologies in accelerators, target station and instruments were achieved at CSNS. The innovation capacity in related industrial technology, especially in fields like magnets, power supplies, neutron detectors and electronics, was greatly improved, leading to a huge leap forward in the field of high-intensity proton accelerators and neutron scattering in China. It  is the first time that China has developed 25 Hz AC resonant excitation large-scale dipole and quadrupole magnets and their power supplies, as well as liquid hydrogen moderators.

CSNS will focus on ensuring efficient, stable and reliable operation, providing outstanding technical services for users from around the globe in the future. The facility will also plan the phase II instrument construction and the power upgrade as soon as possible. CSNS will support science and technology research and development in some key science fields, and speed industry upgrade in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area, according to CHEN.

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