The Reactor Institute Delft is the only research reactor for academic research in the Netherlands. The neutron- and positron radiation the 2 MW reactor produces can be used for a variety of purposes in the health and energy research domains.
Irradiation facilities and neutron/positron instruments can be developed and tested at RID. Professional courses in radiation protection are offered at all levels, both for RID users and for external organizations.
• Radioisotope production pathways can be developed for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes with the reactor and the radiochemistry laboratories.
• Condensed matter can be characterized with the existing neutron- and positron instruments.
• For composition, a suite of ISO17025:2005-accredited facilities for neutron activation analysis allows for (trace) multi-element concentration determination in samples from 1 mg up to 30 kg.
• For structure, the recently commissioned, world-class powder diffractometer PEARL allows for the determination of crystal lattice parameters involving elements that cannot be detected with X-rays.
• Also for structure, the neutron reflectometer ROG measures layer thickness as well as composition and magnetic properties in the 1-500 nm range. The positron radiation allows for investigation of defects in near-surface (a few μm) layers as well as in bulk material (a few mm) under applied conditions of temperature, stress and strain. The concentration of B and Li in layers of a few μm thick can be determined with neutron depth profiling as a function of depth.
• The classical small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and the modern spin-echo small angle neutron scattering (SESANS) instruments together allow for determination structure in terms of size- and ordering parameters on length scales from 10 nm to 20 μm in e.g. colloidal mixtures.
• The neutron-depolarization analysis instrument PANDA characterizes magnetic structure parameters such as average magnetication and magnetic domain size.
All instruments for structure determination can do so under a variety of imposed sample environment conditions (temperature, magnetic field, pressure, stress-strain, shaking, time), so that production processes can be emulated and understanding generated, so that new materials meeting new requirements can de developed more quickly.
The tools described can be applied to many types of scientific research and/or high-tech material development. Examples are photovoltaics, hydrogen storage, Li-ion batteries, magneto-calorics, metal alloys, coatings, food, radio-embolisation for cancer treatment, (stable) tracer investigations, trace elements and health, surfactants.