Materials and Life Science Experimental Facility

Science at MLF

Extensive Scientific programs covering condensed-matter physics, materials sciences, industrial applications, structural biology and nuclear/ particle physics, will be carried out at the Materials and Life Science Experimental Facility (MLF).

The MLF provides the world's highest flux of neutrons and muons by proton-impact nucleus spallation reactions with a 3GeV proton synchrotron of 1MW beam power. The proton beam cascades the graphite target of muons and reaches to the target for neutrons. 23 neutron beam lines and 4 muon beam lines are planned and be installed in the MLF building. Synergic use of neutrons and muons at the world's highest flux will be enabled at MLF, where will be a center of materials and life science researches.

Since the neutron has a mass that is similar to that of the hydrogen atom, a magnetic moment but no electric charge, and a high penetrating power, the neutron can sensitively probe spin correlations, and the location and motions of atoms, especially hydrogen atoms, in materials.

These characteristics of the neutron make neutrons play crucial roles in many subjects like studies of the locations and motions of hydrogen atoms in biological cells, which is of particular interest in life science.

The positive muon(μ+)behaves as a light radioisotope of the proton in matter. Because its large magnetic moment(up to three times that of proton), implanted positive muons have a wide variety of applications to materials science and biology in a fashion similar to nuclear magnetic resonance(μSR). Even more importantly, the μSR technique provides truly complementary information to that obtained from neutron diffraction on the same object.