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German Neutron Scattering Conference 2020

Review

 

The German Neutron Scattering Conference 2020 took place virtually in Garching from December 9th to 10th, 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, meeting in person was not possible, and the conference was held fully online. The meeting was organized by the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Zentrum (MLZ) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) on behalf of the German Committee for Research with Neutrons (KFN) in conjunction with the User Meeting of the MLZ. In addition to scientists from all over Germany and from other European countries, scientists from Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, Morocco, Russia and the United States participated in the German Neutron Scattering Conference 2020. Altogether, 400 participants discussed lively about developments in methods and instrumentation and insights ranging from fundamental mechanisms to technical applications and innovations that were only made possible by neutron experiments. The main topics, as presented in 35 special lectures, were materials science, instrumentation, magnetism soft matter, life science/biology and digitalization/machine learning. Six invited speakers additionally focused on novel neutron instrumentation, stimuli-responsive polymer microgels, the neutron beta decay, novel luminescence materials, disorder in triangular antiferromagnets and the structural dynamics of proteins. The joint poster session with the MLZ User Meeting was a great success with nearly 160 posters and vivid discussions, despite the online format. Moreover, the newest KFN strategy paper was handed over by Dr. Astrid Schneidewind, chair of the KFN, to Dr. Jürgen Kroseberg from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Last, but not least, the 12th board of the KFN was presented to the audience.

A highlight of the conference was the bestowal of the Wolfram-Prandl-Prize 2020 to Dr. Sabrina Disch (University of Cologne) for her outstanding research on the structure, spin structure and dynamics of magnetic nanoparticles and the structures resulting from their self-organization. While her work addresses fundamental challenges in the synthesis and understanding of the magnetism on the nanometer scale, magnetic nanoparticles have a high potential for application, for example in magnetic sensor technology, in catalysis or in medical diagnostics and therapy. Dr. Disch’s work is exemplary for the complementary application of synchrotron scattering and neutron methods, for the most demanding method development in research with neutrons as well as for interdisciplinary work at the border between chemistry, physics, crystallography and material sciences. She develops highly innovative methods, such as small- and wide-angle scattering on nanomaterials with polarization analysis, scattering with a time resolution in the sub-millisecond range, and in-situ magneto-rheological small-angle scattering.

Neutron research has a longstanding tradition in Garching, and many researchers from several faculties of TUM as well as from the other universities and research centers in the Munich region are frequent users at MLZ. It will be strengthened further by the continuous improvement of the existing instrumentation as well as the installation of new instrumentation, especially in the new neutron guide hall east. Moreover, there are close connections to the upcoming European Spallation Source (ESS), which is being built in Lund (Sweden). The next international meeting is going to be the ICNS 2022 in Buenos Aires (Argentina), and we hope to be able to meet in person there. We look forward to exciting new possibilities in the already now very active and productive field of neutron research!

 

Christine M. Papadakis, Technical University of Munich, Germany

Ina Lommatzsch, Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Zentrum, Garching, Germany

Astrid Schneidewind, KFN chair, Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Zentrum, Garching, Germany

Regine v. Klitzing, KFN, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany

Karin Griewatsch, KFN, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Germany

 

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