Neutron holography can be an efficient tool to investigate the local real-space structure of crystalline materials around specific probe nuclei serving as radiation source or detector. The positions of atoms in the neighborhood of such nuclei are observable with high (picometry) accuracy. Measurements of this type require orientational order and, therefore, restrict the range of study essentially to single crystals. However, if the information searched for is limited to the distances between the probe and the surrounding nuclei instead of their positions, holographic techniques can be applied to polycrystalline samples as well. In order to prove this statement, the expected multi-wavelength holographic signal of a polycrystalline sample was calculated. The holographic signal can be obtained by applying time-of-flight techniques, and by using a proper mathematical procedure, the distances between the probe nucleus and the surrounding nuclei can be reconstructed. A model calculation taking into account real instrument parameters confirms this expectation. The experimental verification of the predictions can be undertaken at existing pulsed neutron sources being able to provide the required experimental conditions. This new method opens the way to expand the field of investigation towards gaining information about the local atomic structure of polycrystalline materials which are of importance also in various applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)