At Radiation Science, most of our research is performed in the broad field of Material Science. We use "probes" of various types of radiation to delve into the structure and composition of materials. For example, we can use diffraction to look at the crystal structure of a material and so determine what type of stresses it may have been subjected to. Or we could bombard a chosen material with protons and measure the energy of the x-ray emitted to find out what it is made of. The main techniques we use are diffraction (DIFF), neutron radiography (NRAD), ion beam analysis (IBA), fast neutron science (FNS), and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS).
The radiation "probes" come from 2 main sources: the SAFARI-1 research reactor and the 4 MV Van de Graaff accelerator on the Necsa site. SAFARI-1 provides the thermal (slow) neutrons for neutron radiography, scattering and diffraction. The Van de Graaff accelerator provides protons, alpha particles and a host of other ions for ion beam analysis, as well as high-energy neutrons for fast neutron science.
Furthermore, R & D support is offered in:
- Accelerator science & technology
- Radiation detection techniques
- Electron microscopy
- Plasma physics