A low-cost optical element was developed specifically for neutron optics applications. The technology operates as a reflective lens — similar to proven grazing incidence optics used for x-ray imaging — and improves neutron imaging resolution for applications using low-energy (<1 electron volt) neutrons.

Capable of broadening narrow neutron beam sources or focusing diffused ones, the optical component can target a beam on a specific area instead of bathing an object, reducing the radiation dosages typically employed in neutron tomography for clinical and security applications. The proprietary electroformed nickel replication process used to manufacture these components in volume can also be employed to mass-produce neutron waveguides.

This work was done by Mikhail Gubarev and Brian Ramsey of Marshall Space Flight Center, and Darell Engelhaupt of the University of Alabama Huntsville. For more information, contact Ronald C. Darty, Licensing Executive in the MSFC Technology Transfer Office, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Refer to MFS-32605-1.