Collaborative efforts between the Neutronics and Target Design Group at the Instituto de Fusión Nuclear and the Molecular Spectroscopy Group at the ISIS Pulsed Neutron and Muon Source date back to 2012 in the context of the ESS-Bilbao project. The rationale for these joint activities was twofold, namely: to assess the realm of applicability of the low-energy neutron source proposed by ESS-Bilbao - for details; and to explore instrument capabilities for pulsed-neutron techniques in the range 0.05-3 ms, a time range where ESS-Bilbao and ISIS could offer a significant degree of synergy and complementarity. As part of this collaboration, J.P. de Vicente has spent a three-month period within the ISIS Molecular Spectroscopy Group, to gain hands-on experience on the practical aspects of neutron-instrument design and the requisite neutron-transport simulations. To date, these activities have resulted in a joint MEng thesis as well as a number of publications and contributions to national and international conferences.
Building upon these previous works, the primary aim of this report is to provide a self-contained discussion of general criteria for instrument selection at ESS-Bilbao, the first accelerator-driven, low-energy neutron source designed in Spain. To this end, Chapter 1 provides a brief overview of the current design parameters of the accelerator and target station. Neutron moderation is covered in Chapter 2, where we take a closer look at two possible target-moderator-reflector configurations and pay special attention to the spectral and temporal characteristics of the resulting neutron pulses. This discussion provides a necessary starting point to assess the operation of ESSB in short- and long-pulse modes. These considerations are further explored in Chapter 3, dealing with the primary characteristics of ESS-Bilbao as a short- or long-pulse facility in terms of accessible dynamic range and spectral resolution. Other practical aspects including background suppression and the use of fast choppers are also discussed. The guiding principles introduced in the first three chapters are put to use in Chapter 4 where we analyse in some detail the capabilities of a small-angle scattering instrument, as well as how specific scientific requirements can be mapped onto the optimal use of ESS-Bilbao for condensed-matter research. Part 2 of the report contains additional supporting documentation, including a description of the ESSB McStas component, a detailed characterisation of moderator response and neutron pulses, and estimates ofparameters associated with the design and operation of neutron choppers.
In closing this brief foreword, we wish to thank both ESS-Bilbao and ISIS for their continuing encouragement and support along the way.