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Institut Laue-Langevin

The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) is an international research centre based in Grenoble, France. As one of the world’s premier neutron scattering facilities, it is at the leading edge of neutron science and technology.

The ILL is a reactor-based facility and is the most intense neutron source in the world. Its purpose is to provide the brightest beams of neutrons possible to a suite of 40 high-performance instruments for use by the international scientific community. The reactor normally functions round-the-clock during four 50-day cycles per year. Every year about 2000 researchers from more than 30 countries visit the ILL to perform over 800 experiments. This usually results in the publication of more than 600 scientific publications per year.

ILL is owned by the three founding countries (the Associates): France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Twelve other countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, India, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) have signed Scientific Membership contacts with the ILL and make a significant financial contribution to the ILL’s annual budget. The UK contribution to the ILL is managed by STFC.

The scope of the research carried out at the ILL is very broad, embracing condensed matter physics, chemistry, biology, materials and earth sciences, engineering, and nuclear and particle physics. Much of the research impacts on many of the challenges facing society today, from sustainable sources of energy, improved healthcare and a cleaner environment to new materials for information and computer technology. A series of brochures devoted to the application of neutron techniques in different research areas can be found here: ILL Topical Brochures.

In 2000 the ILL commenced an ambitious upgrade programme, the Millennium Programme, to modernise its instruments and infrastructure. Over the period 2001-2016, 85M€ will be invested in infrastructure improvements and the delivery of 25 new instruments. By 2007 the project had already improved the average detection rate of neutrons for all instruments at the ILL by 24 times! Further details on the first Phase of the Millennium Programme can be found in the Renaissance Brochure. Plans are currently being developed and pre-project work carried out to continue the upgrading of the ILL during 2016-2023 under a new programme, the Endurance Programme.

For further details of the ILL, including how to apply for time at the facility, please see the ILL website.


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Last updated: 12 June 2019


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