College of Science Distinguished Speaker
Intense Neutron Beams at NIST for Materials Science
Dr. Brian Kirby
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Highly penetrating and non-destructive, with sensitivity to light elements and magnetic fields, neutron beams provide information about the microscopic structure and dynamics of materials that is difficult or impossible to obtain via other techniques. State-of-the-art neutron measurements require a facility scale source, such as a nuclear reactor or proton accelerator / target system, as well as sophisticated, custom-built instrumentation. As such, researcher access to neutron techniques is generally limited to user programs at centralized facilities. Operating 30 beam instruments and serving more than 3000 researchers from industry, academia, and government annually, the NIST Center for Neutron Research in Gaithersburg, Maryland is one of the world’s premier centers for neutron science. In my presentation, I’ll provide an overview of this key component of the Nation’s scientific infrastructure and discuss the utility of intense neutron beams for understanding a wide range of materials systems, including soft matter, quantum materials, and industrial components.
Dr. Kirby is an experimental condensed matter physicist with a focus on neutron scattering and thin film magnetism. He oversees a group of 45 engineers, technicians, and scientists responsible for the experimental facility, neutron guide network, sample environment, neutron instrumentation, and instrumentation software at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Neutron Research. As a member of senior leadership, Dr. Kirby is involved in facility-wide planning and coordination – both in terms of day-to-day activities and long-term strategy. Dr. Kirby is an expert in polarized neutron reflectometry and the characterization of magnetic nanostructures for novel device applications. He has made important contributions to the understanding of dilute ferromagnetic semiconductors, complex oxide interfaces, exchange-coupled composites, proximity-induced magnetism, electric-field control of magnetism, and organic photovoltaics.
Those with interest in the topic.
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When and Where
Open to the Public