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Institut Laue-Langevin

Institut Laue Langevin in Grenoble
Institut Laue Langevin in Grenoble (Copyright ILL Artechnique)

The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) is the world’s leading research centre for research using neutron beams. Situated in Grenoble, France, the ILL is a service laboratory which operates the most intense neutron source in the world. Its unique advanced instrumentation is used by scientists from the partner countries for fundamental and applied research.

Its suite of 40 high performance instruments is used to probe the structure and dynamics of existing and newly created materials in the finest detail. The ILL neutron scattering facilities provide an indispensable analytical tool for the analysis of the structure of novel conducting and magnetic materials for future electronic devices, the measurement of stresses in mechanical materials, and investigations into how complex molecular assemblies behave, particularly in a biological environment. The ILL also tackles questions relating to the fundamental properties of matter.

In 2000, the ILL launched an ambitious modernisation programme to establish a continual improvement of its scientific and technical infrastructures (2000-2014). Total investment of ca. M€ 150 M€ for 13 new scientific instruments, 11 upgraded instruments, new neutron guides among others. Average detection rate was improved by a factor of almost 20 times at the end of the second phase.

The fission product spectrometer PN1 / Lohengrin
The fission product spectrometer PN1 / Lohengrin

The ILL is owned and operated by its three founder countries: France Germany and the United Kingdom, and ten scientific partners: Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Belgium, Slovakia, Denmark and Poland.

As a service institute, the ILL makes its facilities and expertise available to visiting scientists from all over the world. Every year about 1500 researchers visit the ILL to perform over 800 experiments, which are peer reviewed by the Institute’s Scientific Council and its subcommittes. ILL scientists and their users publish around 600 articles each year in the international scientific press and in conference proceedings.