The BioRef neutron instrument to be set up again at ANSTO in Australia

BioRef was transported from HZB on December 19, 2016 and shipped to Australia. The trip will take about two months. © D. Höcker/HZB

The BioRef neutron instrument commenced its roughly two-month journey from HZB to Australia on December 19, 2016. It will be set up again at the OPAL neutron source there, part of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) in Sydney. It is expected to be available to the international scientific community beginning in 2018 under the name "Spatz".

ANSTO operates the OPAL neutron source as part of the Centre for Neutron Scattering in the Lucas Heights quarter of Sydney. OPAL is one of the newest and most successful neutron sources in the world and ANSTO is planning further expansion of the neutron source and neutron research.

There has been close cooperation with the HZB for several years, in particular in research on energy materials. The two institutions entered into a new agreement in October 2016 to intensify this cooperation. Among other aspects, they will strive for an active exchange of ANSTO and HZB scientists, and they intend to cooperate more closely in the area of support for junior scientists as well. ANSTO is taking over the BioRef reflectometer, which facilitates research on soft matter, solid/liquid interfaces, and thin films, from the BER II neutron source in Berlin that will close at the end of 2019.

BioRef was packed up in December and shipped to Australia. It will be set up anew at ANSTO and commissioned in 2017. It will then become available for research again beginning in 2018 under the name “Spatz”, a reference to its German origins. Instrument time will be explicitly reserved there for the German user group.

In order to ensure the transfer of knowledge to the neutron community and the continued use of neutron instruments, HZB is also working on cooperative agreements with other research institutions in Europe and the world.