Water uptake under stress. Neutron radiography of a black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) planted in sand enabled examination of differences in water uptake by old and new plant roots following recovery from extreme drought stress. [Reprinted by permission of Springer Nature from Dhiman I., et al. 2017. "Quantifying root water extraction after drought recovery using sub-mm in situ empirical data," Plant and Soil 424, 1–17. DOI: 10.1007/s11104-017-3408-5. Copyright 2017.]
Neutron imaging takes advantage of hydrogen/deuterium contrast and the nondestructive, high penetrating power of neutrons to study structures in a wide range of hierarchical and complex materials of biological relevance. Image resolution ranges from ~10 to 50 µm. Applications include studying plant-plant and plant-fungal interactions, soil pore structure and voids under environmentally relevant conditions, fluid transport and interactions in porous media such as the rhizosphere, and cavitation and gas embolism in plant-soil-groundwater systems. Neutron imaging includes both neutron radiography and neutron computed tomography.
Neutron imaging of roots. A wheat root system in a soil matrix imaged using neutron tomography. [Courtesy Oak Ridge National Laboratory]
See more examples in Science Highlights
Each beamline has unique characteristics. To determine the user facility and beamline best suited to your science questions, see additional information and beamline contacts at the links below.
Proposal Deadlines and more can be found at the following facility websites: