Considering the atomic scattering cross sections for neutrons they are an excellent tool to investigate lubrication problems. Two different shear cells have been built to investigate both the dynamics and structural properties of liquids under shear: one cell has been optimised for quasielastic and inelastic neutron scattering while another one has been designed for reflectivity and diffraction work. The dynamical aspects have been studied on the high-resolution backscattering instrument (IN16 at Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL)). Data with a commercial motor oil as a sample have been taken in contact with an aluminium boundary showing directly the developing anisotropy of diffusion under shear. Furthermore within the same set-up it has been possible to monitor the macroscopic velocity distribution including surface slip. In addition, a diffraction experiment has been carried out, demonstrating from a measurement of the position and the profile of the graphite 002 reflection that the ordering of macroscopic graphite particles in a flowing liquid can be studied with neutrons and an ordering with a tilt angle of the particles of 5° to the flow has been determined.
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Wolff, M., Hock, R., Magerl, A. et al. Liquids Under Shear Explored by Neutron Scattering: A Problem in Lubrication. MRS Online Proceedings Library 710, 291 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-710-DD2.9.1