Grazing Incidence Optics for Neutron Analysis and Imaging

Grazing Incidence Optics for Neutron Analysis and Imaging

Docket: UAH-P-08001


Researchers at UAH have developed a new technology to produce a high-contrast image of an object with a high content of light elements. The technology uses neutron beams to obtain the image. This method overcomes the problem which conventional (X-ray) techniques have, in that light elements have low x-ray absorption.

Neutrons are highly desirable for light-element imaging due to their ability to penetrate through materials with heavy-element content, while being attenuated by some light elements.

Previously, imaging neutron objects was limited to chromatic refractive lenses, thus preventing them from high-spatial-resolution imaging.


  • Geological search for oil, water, natural gas, and other light element resources
  • Surveillance, mapping, and detection
  • Medical imaging and therapies
  • Micro-biological research
  • Material science and structure analysis
  • Land mine field mapping


  • High spatial resolution
  • More accurate and precise than conventional surveillance and mapping techniques
  • Smaller radiation dose to patient during medical imaging
  • Cost effective
  • High signal-to-noise ratio in material analysis


  • State of Development: Prototype
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Proprietary