Scientific Projects

The Food Science Project

The Food Science Project applies neutron and X-ray scattering methods to investigate fundamental and industrial problems of national significance in food science. The current interests of the group relate to determining structure-function relationships in food-based systems, such as proteins and polysaccharides, with direct applications to food processing and human nutrition.

Energy Materials

The main idea is to provide a more coherent focus to work on energy-related materials, using the neutron scattering tools at OPAL for studies which are well matched to the neutron method. This will necessarily involve strong collaboration with external parties like CSIRO, the universities, CRCs and industrial companies.  We will focus almost entirely on the areas in which we are already strong: (1) gas-storage materials (mainly hydrogen); (2) battery materials; and (3) fuel-cell electrolytes.


The underlying purpose of the Magnetism Project is to raise the visibility of the diverse range of applications of neutron scattering, principally at OPAL, to the study of magnetism and superconductivity, both in fundamental research, and as a characterisation tool in the discovery and development of new magnets and magnetic materials of technological benefit. 

The project also aims to train students and early-career researchers in such studies, and to build up appropriate technical and analytical support capability internally or in collaboration. 

Cultural Heritage

The Cultural Heritage Project interfaces and synergizes the suite of nuclear methods available at ANSTO to provide a non-invasive approach for the study and conservation of heritage materials.

In close collaboration with the cultural heritage community, the research is focused on several areas ranging from the characterization of Aboriginal pigments, through the chronology, origin and conservation of Australian Rock Art, to the study of archaeometallurgy.

Planetary Materials

Planetary science is an emerging research theme in Australia, and research at ANSTO is embedded in the heart of this. There is much that the neutron beam, synchrotron and materials facilities can offer this subject area – and this theme has been developed to support and encourage this.  
Our aims are to:
  • To support planetary exploration through the provision of fundamental physical properties of planetary materials. 
  • In undertaking these investigations we aim to increase the capacity of the neutron beam and synchrotron instruments and diversify the base of researchers using them. 
  • To innovate the approached to mineral science in Australia through the combination and complimentary use of novel analysis methods and to train others in this approach. 
  • To seek opportunities to transfer new materials information to other sciences and industry. 
  • To communicate the results of these investigations to a wide base of stakeholders – beyond the traditional academic ones hence increasing the impact and visibility of this and all research undertaken at ANSTO.