Chemical deuteration and neutrons for structure function applications

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Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering
In small angle neutron scattering and neutron reflectometry studies, the use of mixtures of deuterated and hydrogenated solvents to manipulate scattering length density and achieve contrast variation is widespread. This approach, while useful is less effective for multicomponent organic systems containing molecules of similar scattering length densities. In such systems molecular deuteration is necessary to achieve contrast between the different components and it significantly increases the options in structure function investigations. There have been limited global initiatives in the field of molecular deuteration where the majority of these programs focus on biological deuteration of proteins and lipids, while more complex deuterated small molecules haven’t been widely available to the neutron community. This has limited the experiments that can be performed, and formed a bottle neck for advancing the applications of neutron scattering. In this paper we will discuss the recent advancements and the impact of deuteration on the research outcomes achieved by using deuterated molecules produced by the chemical deuteration laboratories at ANSTO’s National Deuteration Facility. Recent high-impact case studies will be presented which reveal the exciting and diverse characterisation studies which are now available for the neutron community. The chemical deuteration of surfactants, sugars, heterocyclic and aromatic compounds has made possible a wide range of investigations systems in the fields of molecular electronics, structural biology, and biotechnology.
Neutron diffraction, Neutron reflectors, Deuteration, Hydrogenation, Solvents, Proteins, Lipids, ANSTO
Darwish, T. A., Yepuri, N. R., Heuer, A. K., Cagnes, M., & Holden, P. (2016). Chemical deuteration and neutrons for structure function applications. Paper presented at 13th AINSE-ANBUG Neutron Scattering Symposium, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 29-30 November 2016.