News / Press Release

NSRRC and ANSTO Renewed Collaboration Agreement on Neutron Science

Signed by Director Gwo-Huei Luo of the NSRRC and Acting CEO Shaun Jenkinson of the ANSTO, the “Agreement between the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC) and Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) on Neutron Beam Application Research” was renewed on December 18th, 2020, through a video conference. The agreement aims not only to facilitate research collaboration and scientist cultivation in neutron science, but also to further enhance the strength in science and technology of Taiwan and Australia. First signed in 2013, this second signing will continue and intensify the collaboration model, signifying the prolonged support to advanced scientific research between the two countries.

Neutrons are uncharged, very penetrating particles that complement synchrotron radiation studies; they could solve many important scientific problems. Some developed countries, such as the US, EU nations, Japan and Australia, have successively invested in constructing neutron experimental facilities. In order to build a future blueprint for Taiwan’s science and technology, as well as in response to the demands from academia for more interdisciplinary and international collaborations, in 2005 the National Science Council (NSC, predecessor of the Ministry of Science and Technology) pushed through a collaborative Arrangement between Taiwan and Australia on neutron science. With the NSC’s funding and support, the National Central University constructed a cold neutron triple-axis spectrometer, SIKA, named after the Formosan sika deer, at ANSTO near Sydney, Australia. The Arrangement allows the Australian user program access to SIKA, and Taiwanese researchers similar access to the other ANSTO instruments for mutual interests. Currently, SIKA has around 80 users per year and 100 Taiwanese users take advantage of the all the instruments at ANSTO.

Considering NSRRC’s extensive experience in light source and beamline construction, operation and maintenance domestically and internationally, the NSRRC was appointed by the NSC in 2013 to operate and maintain SIKA, and increase its usage. In addition, the NSRRC takes responsibility for cultivating users, promoting neutron science, and supporting users’ experiments. Since then, substantial efforts and investment have been made to optimize SIKA’s operation and equipment, which allows scientists to conduct experiments in a friendlier and more efficient manner.

Over the past few years, more than 50 Taiwanese research teams have been using neutrons for their studies; approximately 20 publications annually resulting from this Taiwan-Australia collaboration project. A recent highlight of SIKA includes the study for green energy applications. A research team from Academia Sinica, Taiwan investigated how heat is transferred in GeTe-based thermoelectric materials. This was published in Advanced Science, and chosen for the back cover inside of the November-December 2020 issue.

Neutrons are used in scientific fields includes physics, chemistry, biology, materials, nanoscience, medical isotope, green energy, drug design, aerospace materials, smart manufacturing, etc. With the renewal of this agreement, more scientists from both parties will continue to conduct advanced research using neutrons, and expand scientific benefits and prospects between Taiwan and Australia.