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J Appl Crystallogr. 2015 Jun 27;48(Pt 4):1055-1071. eCollection 2015 Aug 1.

Survey of background scattering from materials found in small-angle neutron scattering.

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NIST Center for Neutron Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology , Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, USA.


Measurements and calculations of beam attenuation and background scattering for common materials placed in a neutron beam are presented over the temperature range of 300-700 K. Time-of-flight (TOF) measurements have also been made, to determine the fraction of the background that is either inelastic or quasi-elastic scattering as measured with a 3He detector. Other background sources considered include double Bragg diffraction from windows or samples, scattering from gases, and phonon scattering from solids. Background from the residual air in detector vacuum vessels and scattering from the 3He detector dome are presented. The thickness dependence of the multiple scattering correction for forward scattering from water is calculated. Inelastic phonon background scattering at small angles for crystalline solids is both modeled and compared with measurements. Methods of maximizing the signal-to-noise ratio by material selection, choice of sample thickness and wavelength, removal of inelastic background by TOF or Be filters, and removal of spin-flip scattering with polarized beam analysis are discussed.


background scattering; multiple scattering; phonon scattering; small-angle neutron scattering; time-of-flight measurements

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