Edge enhancement in cold neutron imaging: A comparison of experiments at edges and interfaces with ray-tracing based on refraction and reflection

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Conference Proceeding

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In the past decade, increased neutron image resolution with digital detectors, approaching 10 μm, combined with more images obtained with cold neutrons, i.e., with neutrons having wavelengths longer than 3 Å, have yielded many examples of edge enhancement. Line profiles across an air-metal interface can show both reflection and refraction; in some samples, reflection can dominate while other samples show structure that is largely due to refraction. Thus far, evidence for Fresnel diffraction at sharp edges is lacking due to, as yet, insufficient detector resolution. With the exception of titanium, most common engineering metals have a neutron refractive index slightly less than one and application of geometrical optics such as Snell's law and the Fresnel equations show that edge enhancement is detectable for low attenuation samples at about 4 Å and rapidly grows at longer wavelengths. Looking forward, imaging at a time-of-flight system could make use of the edge enhancement for sensitive detection of internal cracks and voids. Reduction, but not complete suppression, of edge enhancement is possible with close sample-to-detector distances. Edge enhancement effects have been shown to be determined by a number of parameters, both sample and beamline. As the range of samples grows, beamline performance increases, and the variety of imaging methods evolves, we should prepare for new examples of the edge enhancement effects as well as a change in the relative weights of reflection, refraction, and diffraction. © 2013 The Authors.

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Physics Procedia

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