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Novel method of single-pixel imaging with neutrons could bring potential industrial applications

Date: 2020-11-10 Author:

A group of scientists from CSNS alongside collaborators from the Institute of Physics and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have found a new scheme for single-pixel imaging with neutrons of real objects. The spatial resolution of 100 μm and spectral resolution of 0.4% at 1 ? were achieved, even with only 1000 neutron counts per frame exposure.


Neutron imaging is proved to be a noninvasive tool to study materials. However, large-scale neutron facilities, with limited beam time, are too expensive to realize a wide range of applications, while portable neutron sources are not strong enough to form even a static image within an acceptable time frame using traditional neutron imaging method. Thus, scientists have developed a feasible solution applying second-order intensity correlation ghost imaging with a single-pixel (bucket) neutron detector via time-of-flight (TOF) measurement. 


The experiment was carried out in Beamline No. 20 at CSNS in Guangdong Province, which was a temporary beamline for testing the performances of neutron devices and moderator. The experimental setup is simple and especially suitable for low intensity portable neutron sources, which is expected to greatly benefit applications in biology, material science, and industrial product development such as diagnosis of batteries, fuels, and so forth.


This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFA0401504, 2017YFA0403301, 2017YFB0503301, and 2018YFB0504302), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (119910736197522961805006, and U1932219), the Key Program of CAS (XDA25030400, and XDB17030500), the Civil Space Project (D040301), and the Science Challenge Project (TZ2018005).


The full publication can be found here:




Experimental scheme of SPIN.
The inset is a typical modulation pattern recorded by a 3-D optical microscope.




Normalized bucket signals and SPIN images.
(a) Bucket intensities recorded for each exposure frame; from top to bottom: beamline fluctuations, for the letter “N” (top), and for the stripes.
(b) – (d) Object “N” and images retrieved by conventional GI and CNN, respectively, from 1024 exposures.
(e) – (g) Striped object and images retrieved by conventional GI and CNN, respectively, from 512 exposures.