Inelastic Neutron Scattering (INS)


Inelastic Neutron Scattering (INS) is a relative new technique current being researched for the measurement of soil carbon. INS relies on the detection of gamma rays that are emitted following the moderation of fast neutrons as the sample is bombarded with neutrons from a pulsed neutron generator.


INS has been used for measurement of soil carbon with this technique based on inelastic scattering of fast neutrons and subsequent detection of the gamma emission from the first carbon excitation level [1].

INS for remote soil elemental analysis has been proposed [2].The emitted gamma radiation is characteristic of the bombarded excited nuclide which results in a gamma ray intensity related to the elemental composition of the sample.


Requires an active neutron source.

Development Status




1. Wielopolski, L., Hendrey, G., Johnsen, K. H., Mitra, S., Prior, S. A., Rogers, H. H. & Torbert, H. A. (2008) Nondestructive system for analyzing carbon in the soil. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 72, 1269-1277.

2. Schrader, C. D. and Stinner, R. J. Remote Analysis of Surfaces by Neutron Gamma-Ray Inelastic Scattering Technique. Journal of Geophysical Research, 66: 1951–1956.