The objective of the realization of efficient compact neutron sources is to make it possible to perform neutron scattering experiments, with practically the same qualities as those carried out with neutron beam lines from research reactors of the Orphée type*.
These compact sources are obtained from a protons beam of medium-energy (3-50 MeV) and high current (100 mA) impinging on a light element target as beryllium. This interaction creates a neutron emission. In order to be used routinely, the target must be able to withstand long exposure to high irradiation without loss of performance.
The LLB and IRFU teams have realized a beryllium target implanted at the exit of the high intensity proton injector - IPHI (3 MeV) at Saclay. They show that with this device it is possible to obtain the intensity of neutrons necessary to carry out a diffraction experiment in a reasonable time, demonstrating the competitiveness of such a source for neutron scattering compared to current small and medium power nuclear reactors.
*Former research reactor at Saclay, now shutdown.
Knowing how to manipulate at the nanometric scale, a single spin, as an object carrying quantum information, presents a major technological challenge, and still remains a subject of great fundamental interest. A magnetic molecule deposited on a surface offers a unique test system to treat this subject, but it is difficult, if not impossible, to explore experimentally the too numerous open possibilities, given the huge number of possible molecule/surface combinations. This is why modeling plays an essential role in this field.
In the frame of the H2020 FET-Open project "COSMICS", a collaboration between the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), the CEMES CNRS in Toulouse and SPEC (UMR CEA-CNRS) has shown by computational methods of electronic structure and transport that iron porphyrin, deposited on a boron-doped graphene substrate, possesses remarkable properties that makes it a potential candidate for a molecular spintronic device driven solely by the application of a gate voltage. This device would therefore be worth studying experimentally.