BNL Home


HYSPEC is an acronym for Hybrid Spectrometer, a unique instrument whose concept combines advantages of the time-of-flight (TOF) technique which is traditionally used at the pulsed sources with those of crystal spectrometers which use continuous neutron beams.

It was developed as a collaborative effort of the Instrument Development Team (IDT) composed of scientists from the leading US Universities and National Laboratories and an international group of prominent neutron scattering experts, aimed at designing and building a conceptually new high-flux inelastic neutron spectrometer at the pulsed Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at Oak Ridge. This effort was initiated and lead by the physicists from the Neutron Scattering Group (and former Center for Neutron Science) at Brookhaven National Laboratory, who lead the HYSPEC IDT.

Construction of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee was completed in 2006 and now SNS is ramping up to its target power of 1.4 MW. Already operating at above 1 MW, SNS now provides by far the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world, opening exciting new opportunities for use in scientific research and industrial development.

HYSPEC is an inelastic thermal neutron spectrometer optimized for studying single crystal samples in a broad variety of sample environments. It is intended to supply users of the SNS and the scientific community with a platform for ground-breaking investigations of the low-energy atomic-scale dynamical properties of crystalline solids. HYSPEC project began in 2001, the IDT Letter of Intent and the funding proposal to the DOE were filed in 2002, and the CD-0 funding decision has been obtained in 2003. HYSPEC construction began in 2005 and has been completed on schedule in 2011. Since 2012 the instrument entered the period of testing, commissioning and operation.  

A unique feature of HYSPEC is its polarization analysis capability, thereby making it the first polarized beam spectrometer in the SNS instrument suite, and the first successful polarized neutron inelastic instrument at a pulsed spallation source in the world.