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Keywords:

  • neutron focusing;
  • flux-on-sample;
  • out-of-focus condition;
  • small-angle neutron scattering;
  • very small angle neutron scattering

Neutron focusing leads to significant gains in flux-on-sample in small-angle neutron scattering and very small angle neutron scattering instruments. Understanding the out-of-focus condition is necessary for less than optimal conditions such as for short instruments and low neutron wavelengths. Neutron focusing is investigated using a three-pronged approach. The three methods are analytical calculations, resolution measurements and computer simulations. A source aperture containing a single small-size hole and a sample aperture containing multiple holes are used to produce multiple spots on the high-resolution neutron detector. Lens focusing elongates off-axis spots in the radial direction. The standard deviation for the size of each spot is estimated using these three approaches. Varying parameters include the neutron wavelength, the number of focusing lenses and the location of holes on the sample aperture. Enough agreement for the standard deviation of the individual neutron beams was found between the calculations and the measurements to give confidence in this approach. Good agreement was found between the standard deviations obtained from calculations and simulations as well. Excellent agreement was found for the mean location of these individual spots.