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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Development and Applications of High Resolution Neutron Radiography


Material Measurement Laboratory, Chemical Sciences Division

RO# Location
50.64.61.B7611 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Downing, Robert Gregory 301.975.3782


Neutron radiography is used to create images in two and three spatial dimensions in the interior volume of objects. Although similar in function to x-ray imaging techniques, neutron radiation is generally able to penetrate massive structures of higher atomic numbers to create images and still show contrast to embedded regions containing some critically important elements such as hydrogen. Neutron radiography can even be used to discern between isotopes of certain elements enabling tracer experiments. Historically, neutron detector technology functioned with relatively poor spatial resolution ranging upward from about 20 micrometers by 20 micrometers.

A program is in progress at NIST to construct a neutron radiography instrument able to resolve objects with less than a micrometer separation. Several critical research areas will benefit from this new imaging ability. The opportunity requires researchers having one or more skill sets including neutron optics, image analysis, fast data acquisition, high vacuum systems, nuclear reaction analysis, computer motion control, and time-of-flight electronics. When completed, the instrument will be applied to qualitative and quantitative analysis of sample features and composition. Samples of interest include biological cells, components in fuel cells and changes in hydrogen density within fuel cells, elemental dynamics in storage batteries, or nanoparticle distribution in a variety of matrices. The work will utilize neutron beam facilities located at the NIST Center for Neutron Research.


Radiography; Neutrons; Detectors; Image analysis; Charged particles, Thin-film deposition;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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