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The group was founded to strengthen the scientific focus of the MLZ in structure research. The group is specialising on diverse aspects of crystal and magnetic order on crystalline materials of different kinds. The group provides necessary basis for discussion and exchange of ideas between MLZ scientists and external users to trigger new collaborations and new ideas for future direction of instrumental development.
Members of the group operate the high-resolution powder diffractometer SPODI (using thermal neutrons), four single crystal diffractometers, namely HEIDI (hot neutrons), POLI (hot neutrons), RESI (thermal neutrons)and BIODIFF (cold neutrons). Powder diffraction usually provides the first input to the materials structure which then, if suitable single crystals are available, can be further uitlised and enhanced/refined by single crystal diffraction. By the operation of the diffractometers at three diffent neutron spectra the best compromise between resolution and scattering signal can be achieved leading to a high flexibility of research. POLI is specialised to solve complex types of magnetic order by application of spherical neutron polarimetry.
The instrumental basis of the group will be largely broadened by the commissioning of the two new time-of-flight powder diffractometers POWTEX and SAPHiR. SAPHiR is equipped with a six anvil press which allows to investigate the samples under a pressure of up to 15 GPa. Simultaneously the sample can be heated up to 2000°C simulating conditions pressure and temperature conditions of the Earth’s uppe mantle and the transition zone below a depth of 410 km. POWTEX will provide the chemistry and geoscience communities with a powerful tool with rapid neutron data acquisition for powder and texture diffraction.
Within the MLZ the Structure Research Group actively collaborates with the Materials Science and the Quantum Phenomena Group providing necessary strucural input. With the Soft Matter Group there is a strong overlap on the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules.