WangChun Chen, John Barker, Ronald L. Jones, Kathryn Krycka, Shannon Watson, Cedric Victor Lucien Gagnon, T. Perevozchivoka, Paul Butler, Thomas R. Gentile
The small angle neutron scattering (SANS) of nearly Q-independent nuclear spin-incoherent scattering from hydrogen present in most soft matter and biology samples may raise an issue in structure determination in certain soft matter applications. This is true at high wave vector transfer Q where coherent scattering is much weaker than the nearly Q-independent spin-incoherent scattering background. Polarization analysis is capable of separating coherent scattering from spin-incoherent scattering, hence potentially removing the nearly Q-independent background. Here we demonstrate SANS polarization analysis in conjunction with the time-of- fliight technique for separation of coherent and nuclear spin-incoherent scattering for a sample of silver behenate back-filled with light water. We describe a complete procedure for SANS polarization analysis for separating coherent from incoherent scattering for soft matter samples that show inelastic scattering. Polarization efficiency correction and subsequent separation of the coherent and incoherent scattering have been done with and without a time-of- flight technique for direct comparisons. In addition, we have accounted for the effect of multiple scattering from light water to determine the contribution of nuclear spin-incoherent scattering in both the spin flip channel and non-spin flip channel when performing SANS polarization analysis. We discuss the possible gain in the signal-to-noise ratio for the measured coherent scattering signal using polarization analysis with the time-of-flight technique compared with routine unpolarized SANS measurements.