The upgraded Polaris powder diffractometer at the ISIS neutron source
Journal article, 2019
This paper describes the design and operation of the Polaris time-of-flight powder neutron diffractometer at the ISIS pulsed spallation neutron source, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK. Following a major upgrade to the diffractometer in 2010-2011, its detector provision now comprises five large ZnS scintillator-based banks, covering an angular range of 6° ≤ 2θ ≤ 168°, with only minimal gaps between each bank. These detectors have a substantially increased solid angle coverage (ω ∼5.67 sr) compared to the previous instrument (ω ∼0.82 sr), resulting in increases in count rate of between 2× and 10×, depending on 2θ angle. The benefits arising from the high count rates achieved are illustrated using selected examples of experiments studying small sample volumes and performing rapid, time-resolved investigations. In addition, the enhanced capabilities of the diffractometer in the areas of in situ studies (which are facilitated by the installation of a novel design of radial collimator around the sample position and by a complementary programme of advanced sample environment developments) and in total scattering studies (to probe the nature of short-range atomic correlations within disordered crystalline solids) are demonstrated.