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CHRNS: Rheometers and Shear Cells


Upgrades (completed)

Upgrades (in progress)

Capillary RheoSANS

  • Temperature control from 10 °C to 50 °C
  • Improved sample loading, priming, and air purging
  • Automated sample changing and cell rinsing
  • Rheometer control integration with NICE  

Rheometer MCR 301/501

  • New air-vacuum manifold to simplify equipment swap, beamline installation, sample changes and geometry alignment procedures
  • Rheometer control integration with NICE
  • SECoP Driver Development
  • Beam defining aperture setup

Rheometer ARES G2

(see non-equilibrium initiative for details)

  • New easy-access oven with insulated quartz windows
  • Improved maximum scattering angle enables measurements at higher q-values and in the 1-3 and 2-3 planes
  • Temperature control from -100 °C to 200 °C
  • Rheometer control integration with NICE
  • SECoP Driver Development
  • Improved gap insulation to further widen the operating temperature range
  • Time stamping complementary data streams, including impedance spectroscopy (Dielectric Rheo-SANS)

1-2 Shear Cell

(see non-equilibrium initiative for details)

  • New motor and controller allowing easier user interaction, better waveform definition and better integration with instrument control
  • Improved motor controls
  • New encoder feedback included within control loop
  • Rheometer control integration with NICE
  • SECoP Driver Development


Capillary RheoSANS
Originally developed with nSoft, Capillary RheoSANS (CRSANS) provides users access to shear rates up to 106 s-1, which is three orders of magnitude higher than shear rates achieved with a standard Couette cell rheometer [1].

CHRNS has upgraded this system by implementing temperature control from 10 °C to 50 °C, which includes all equipment and tubing in contact with the sample. CHRNS has also integrated high-pressure switch valves and flow selector valves, as well as a software-controlled procedure, to enable easier sample loading, system priming, and air purging.

rheometer and shear cells

Ongoing work aims to further improve sample handling by introducing automated cell rinsing and sample changing, as well as to integrate direct rheometer control and rheology data monitoring through the NICE control interface.

Rheometer MCR 301/501
The MCR 301 and 501 rheometers are commonly used instruments for RheoSANS, as they provide a large scattering volume and enable scattering measurements of the 1-3 shear planes (velocity-vorticity) and 2-3 shear planes (gradient-vorticity). These stress-controlled rheometers can measure properties across a broad range of shear rates from approximately 10-3 s-1 to 103 s-1 for most samples.

CHRNS has upgraded this system by implementing a new mounted air manifold with color coded connections and 3-way valves. These upgrades allow for faster and easier equipment swapping between measurements, for example, swapping from the Couette geometry to plate geometry. The new manifolds use a single quick disconnect and are identical for the MCR 301 and 501. This improvement facilitates faster rheometer installation on the beamline, and it enhances the user experience with more consistent and robust sample changes.

manifold and cables

Ongoing work aims to improve the alignment of the beam defining aperture, which would allow for more precise SANS measurements and lowered background. It would also significantly reduce the instrument alignment time, providing more time for experimental measurements. Additional work aims to fully integrate the MCR rheometers with the instrument control software suite. The full integration will allow users to fully control the rheometers from the NICE instrument software and to store all the rheological parameters with the SANS data file.


[1] “Capillary RheoSANS: measuring the rheology and nanostructure of complex fluids at high shear rates”, Soft Matter, 16, 6285-6293, DOI: 10.1039/d0sm00941e (2020).

Created February 22, 2022, Updated February 7, 2023