Mission Statement

Analyzing the structure of inhomogeneities, from minerals to biological tissues.

Instrument Description

USANS is designed for the study of hierarchical structures in natural and artificial materials. It can be considered an advanced version of the classical Bonse-Hart double-crystal diffractometer (DCD), which in contrast with its single-wavelength reactor-based analog, will operate with the discrete multiwavelength spectrum of Bragg reflections.

The optical scheme of the USANS instrument is similar to that of the conventional Bonse-Hart DCD; however, the pulsed nature of SNS offers an opportunity to separate the orders of Bragg reflection in time space using the time-of-flight technique. Thus, the application of time-of-flight to the USANS technique allows the separation of data optimized for neutron flux and the Q resolution or minimum accessible Q while simultaneously removing contamination by higher harmonic reflections, one of the most significant contributions to the intrinsic instrument background on this class of instruments.


Ultra-small-angle neutron scattering provides a new way to solve a broad range of scientific problems such as:

  • Supramolecular structure of polymer blends
  • Macroscale self-similarity of rocks
  • Structure of colloidal crystals and alloys
  • Hydration of cement pastes
  • Aggregation in colloidal dispersions
  • Self-assembling of polymers
  • Mesoscopic structure of natural composites
  • Structure of granular powders
  • Morphology of colloidal reinforcing fillers
  • Structure and morphology of complex fluids
  • Rheology and morphology of hydrogels