The world of Wombat: a review of high speed neutron diffraction at the OPAL research reactor

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Australian Institute of Physics
Wombat is one of a suite of neutron beam instruments at the OPAL reactor at the ANSTO site at Lucas Heights, just south of Sydney. In its original conception, Wombat was intended to be used for high speed powder diffraction. One key aim of the instrument was to be able to follow structural change in real time, in timeframes down to less than a second. For example, Wombat has been used to follow the progress of industrial processes such as sintering of steels in situ. In cyclic systems, Wombat is able to acquire data stroboscopically. This means that the instrument can measure a rapidly changing system (easily up to a kilohertz) with time resolutions down to tens of microseconds, provided the system repeats itself enough to acquire sufficient statistics. For example, Wombat has been used to measure real time structural change in piezoelectric materials due to electric field cycling. Wombat is routinely used for parametric studies, for example in mapping the response of a material to temperature or magnetic field. Wombat is capable of measuring single crystal samples too, and is complementary to the dedicated Koala single crystal instrument at OPAL. For example, the instrument has been used to measure magnetic structure transitions in single crystal samples as a result of applied magnetic field. Wombat is an exciting instrument with a broad, exciting range of applications, and the aim of this talk is to illustrate the diversity of possibilities of the instrument by describing a range of recent experiments performed on it.
Beams, Elementary particles, Measuring instruments, Neutrons, ANSTO, Australia, Time resolution, OPAL Reactor, Neutron diffraction
Studer, A. J. (2010). The world of Wombat: a review of high speed neutron diffraction at the OPAL research reactor. Paper presented to the 34th Annual Condensed Matter and Materials Meeting 2010, Waiheke Island Resort, Waiheke, Auckland, New Zealand 2 - 5 February 2010. Retrieved from: