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Center for High Resolution Neutron Scattering

The Center for High Resolution Neutron Scattering (CHRNS) is a national user facility jointly funded by the NCNR and the NSF under Agreement No. DMR-2010792.


Center for High Resolution Neutron Scattering (CHRNS)
Maximizing access for the scientific community to transformative neutron scattering instrumentation

The Center for High Resolution Neutron Scattering (CHRNS) is a national user facility jointly funded by the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF)  under Agreement No. DMR-2010792. CHRNS develops and operates state-of-the-art neutron scattering instrumentation with broad applications in materials research for use by the general scientific community. Combined, CHRNS instruments can provide structural information on a length scale of 1 nm to ~10 microns, and dynamical information on energy scales from ~30 neV to ~100 meV. These are the widest ranges accessible at any neutron research center in North America. The instruments are used by university, government and industrial researchers in materials science, chemistry, biology and condensed matter physics to investigate materials such as polymers, metals, ceramics, magnetic materials, porous media, fluids and gels, and biological molecules. Proposals for use of the CHRNS facilities are considered solely on the basis of scientific merit or technological importance.


CHRNS currently operates five neutron scattering instruments:

Publications and presentations (i.e., talks and posters) with results obtained at the NCNR on the CHRNS instruments listed above should include an acknowledgement of NSF support for CHRNS.

Supporting Capabilities

CHRNS provides essential support for supplemental capabilities and facilities necessary for users to perform successful experiments. The production of high quality science is dependent upon the availability and ease-of-use of reliable sample environment equipment and well-stocked user laboratories.  

Facility Upgrades

During the current proposal cycle, CHRNS is supporting an Initiative on the Non-Equilibrium Structure of Materials. CHRNS is supplying advanced neutron capabilities to characterize materials out of equilibrium.

Updates on other CHRNS instrument upgrades during the unplanned outage are provided on these sites:

Updates on CHRNS sample environment upgrades during the unplanned outage are provided on these sites:

During the unplanned outage, the installation plan for the new NSE spectrometer is accelerated. This instrument is being developed in collaboration with the University of Delaware’s Center for Neutron Science, led by Prof. Norm Wagner.  It is funded by the NSF Mid-scale Research Infrastructure program.

Financial Assistance

As part of its education and outreach effort, CHRNS is pleased to offer U.S. university-based research groups planning to come to the NCNR for an experiment approved by its Beam Time Allocation Committee (BTAC), the opportunity to request travel support for an additional graduate student to participate in the experiment. 

NSF-NIST Interaction in Basic and Applied Scientific Research: Supplemental support to existing NSF awards may be requested from NSF to facilitate interactions between Principal Investigators (PIs), co-PIs, post-doctoral scholars and both undergraduate and graduate students supported by the NSF and scientists and engineers at NIST.

NSF Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN) Supplemental Funding Opportunity: NSF will consider supplemental funding requests that enable PIs to request up to six months of additional support for graduate students supported on active NSF grants to provide graduate students with the opportunity to augment their research assistantships with non-academic research internship activities and training opportunities that will complement their academic research training. Eligible non-academic settings include national laboratories.


CHRNS supports a wide variety of education and outreach activities including the annual Summer School on methods and applications of neutron scattering. For more information on these programs, contact the Education and Outreach Director, Leland Harriger (leland.harriger [at] (leland[dot]harriger[at]nist[dot]gov)).

Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) 

This Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) project, funded by NSF (Agreement No. DMR-1827731), establishes a partnership between CHRNS and the Interdisciplinary Materials Research and Education Laboratory (IMREL) at Fayetteville State University (FSU).  The IC-PREM supports cutting-edge materials research as the context for producing a diverse, motivated, and skilled cadre of minority and female students as future professional leaders in materials-related fields. This partnership is organized around a common theme of structure-processing-property correlations of nanomaterials to support student training in the context of research using neutron scattering.

Additional Information

Getting Great Data with CHRNS: Video and Sketchnote
Download high-res CHRNS logo: SVG, PNG or PDF