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10 Jun: LENS Webinar #12 ‘The Wolter optics based neutron microscope’ Dan Hussey (NIST)

LENS Webinar #12 - New Directions in Instrumentation ​

The Wolter optics based neutron microscope

Dr Daniel S. Hussey
Physical Measurement Laboratory, NIST

10 June 2021                15:00 CEST

Neutron polarization Images of a quantum magnet (HgCr2Se4) at various applied pressures and cryogenic temperatures through the ferromagnetic transition [2]. The top two rows were acquired with the prototype Wolter optic shown in the bottom right, while conventional pinhole neutron imaging was employed to capture the images in the bottom row. The images with the Wolter optic were acquired in half the time and had a spatial resolution that was a factor 5 finer than the conventional images.
Imaging with neutrons has seen strong development in the past two decades, driven by the rapid improvements in digital cameras and the ability to use the properties of the neutron to generate a variety of image contrasts. This webinar will give an overview of the start of the NIST neutron imaging program and how measurements have been augmented with a simultaneous X-ray source [1].  Discussion will focus on the current state of the art in neutron microscopy, and the outlook for the field with the nearly completed first neutron equivalent to Hooke’s microscope with lens based on Wolter optics [2,3].

Dr Daniel S. Hussey

Dr. Hussey is a research scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where he leads a team in the development of novel neutron imaging and optics techniques for materials science applications. To enable the visualisation of the water content in the catalyst layers of operating hydrogen fuel cells, Dr Hussey works to improve the achievable spatial resolution of neutron imaging. This includes the development of new detectors, such as micro-channel plates, and wholly new neutron imaging methods, notably a neutron analog to Hooke’s microscope using Wolter optic mirrors.

One of the most exciting new research projects in the field is under development by Dr Hussey and other participants in the INFER collaboration. Together they are building a far field grating neutron interferometer that will provide multi-scale images, spanning length scales from the femtometer to the decimeter. Dr Hussey is also engaged in developing quantitative image analysis routines, for instance, data fusion algorithms that permit researchers in the fields of batteries, concrete, and geosciences to take fully advantage of the NIST-NeXT data sets.

Dr Hussey holds one U.S. and one world patent in the area of signal processing, has co-authored over 180 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, has been a co-PI on three funded NIST Innovations in Measurement Science projects, is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and has received several awards including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers, the Arthur S. Flemming Award, an R&D 100 award, and the Department of Commerce Silver Award.


1. M. LaManna et al, Review of Scientific Instruments 88, 113702 (2017); doi: 10.1063/1.4989642
2. Jorba et al, Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 475 176–183 (2019); doi: 10.1016/j.jmmm.2018.11.086
3. S. Hussey et al, NIMA 987 164813 (2021); doi: 10.1016/j.nima.2020.164813