Welcome to LaCNS, the Louisiana Consortium for Neutron Scattering. We invite you to browse our website and learn more about our research, initiatives, and programs.

LaCNS is in its fifth year of a groundbreaking innovative partnership between four universities – Louisiana State University, Tulane University, University of New Orleans, and Louisiana Tech – established to investigate the properties of advanced materials through highly collaborative synthetic, experimental, computational, and theoretical research. The team makes use of the modern neutron scattering techniques available at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to explore the structural, magnetic, and dynamic properties of hard and soft materials systems.

Dynamics in complex materials play a crucial role in determining their desired properties. The type of dynamics, and the important length scales over which they occur, is unique to the materials under investigation. The important dynamics of spin, charge, and lattice degrees of freedom determine the exotic properties found in transition metal compound systems. However, it is the nonlinear coupling between these possibly competing degrees of freedom that gives rise to novel phenomena. In polymeric systems, for instance, both strong covalent interaction and weaker secondary interactions (e.g., dispersive, etc.) are key to determining the structure-function relationship. These couplings lead to emergent phenomena such as unconventional superconductivity, multiferroicity, light harvesting, thermoplastic and high tensile strength optical, and magneto-optical behavior. Our challenge, therefore, is to unravel these complex nonlinear couplings and to identify if a particular interaction dominates so that it alone gives rise to the observed behavior, or if a coupling of interactions is responsible.

Our goal for LaCNS is to be able to tune the dominant couplings to enhance a critical property and derive new functionality. In particular, many of the most interesting materials display coupling both in their static and dynamical behavior, making neutron scattering (elastic and inelastic) the ideal tool to elucidate the fundamental relationship between this coupling and the observed phenomena. Understanding these relationships is key to the “directed design” of the next generation of materials for both fundamental research and technology.

Thank you for visiting our website. If you have any questions about our consortium, we encourage you to reach out to us.

John DiTusa, Principal Investigator LaCNS logo

Michael Khonsari, Project Director