This commercially available Peltier-driven temperature block is available at the NGB 30-m SANS, NG7 SANS, nSOFT 10m SANS, and CHRNS VSANS instruments. The block is designed and manufactured by Quantum Northwest. The 9 position block has 3 independently controlled temperature zones, each controlling 3 sample wells. Standard operations allow a temperature range of -10 °C to 110 °C, with a total temperature range of -40 °C to 140 °C. Reaching temperatures outside the standard range requires adjustment of the sink temperature.
The main advantage of the block over others is the time to equilibration. Fluid-controlled blocks can take up to an hour for the sample temperature to reach the desired temperature. The 9CB, operating under standard conditions, is rapid enough to equilibrate the sample temperature in 10 minutes or less for temperature changes of 50 degrees or less.
To ensure optimal temperature stability, quartz windows are installed before and after the sample. Quartz is optically transparent and transmits a laser beam used for the alignment of the sample block.