Light elements such as helium, lithium, boron, and nitrogen are essential constituents in materials that enable energy technologies; lithium ion batteries, catalysts, solar silicon, and nuclear fusion. Neutron Depth Profiling (NDP), a nuclear analytical technique, determines both the amount and physical distribution of these elements usually in situ and without damage to the material. For example, with an intense beam of cold neutrons, lithium distribution is mapped dynamically as batteries are repeatedly charged and discharged. The data enables researchers to optimize battery structures and analyze failure mechanisms. The state-of-the-art NDP facility serves industry, academia, and government agencies at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR).
The video below is a 10 Minute Introduction to Neutron Depth Profiling