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Services - Quokka

Services - Quokka

Sample environments

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Data reduction and analysis

Data analysis is supported through user training which is provided at the AINSE Neutron Scattering Winter Schools.  Other workshops may be periodically advertised here.

To correct, reduce and analyse experiment data from Quokka, the Igor Pro software from WaveMetrics is used and extended with specially designed macros to simplify the process.

Igor Pro can be downloaded from WaveMetrics home page . A trial version is available which allows the free use of Igor Pro for 30 days. After Igor Pro has been installed and tested, ANSTO’s Small Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) reduction macros can be installed with the switch program.

ANSTO’s SANS reduction macros are based on the SANS & USANS macros from NIST, which can be found at the NIST SANS homepage.  Although these macros contain an option to reduce Quokka data, the instrument information is not current and it is not advised to use these macro’s for Quokka data reduction.  It is advised to use the switch program to install the macro's. 

Users who wish to utilize SANS macros provided by ANSTO or NIST are requested to reference the paper by Steve Kline describing the software.

For support, contact the Quokka instrument scientists:


Many packages are available for the analysis of SANS data in addition to macros operating in Igor. Some generally useful packages are:

There are many more specialized packages. It suggested to ask your local contact for guidance.

Data Access

The Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering  promotes access to data collected during scientific experiments. See
Access to data is available at ANSTO during the 3 year embargo period via the following options:

If you are unable to login, contact the  User Office. 

It is ANSTO policy that after a 3 year embargo period, data becomes publicly accessible. This can be viewed as "Public Experiments" at Metadata relating to the experimental data is copied to Research Data Australia In encouraging this practice ANSTO has helped many researchers forge new collaborations.

Mail-in Service

The Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering has initiated a mail-in service on the Quokka small angle neutron scattering instrument. It is intended for new or infrequent users who would like to test the feasibility of a potential SANS experiment before submitting a full proposal, one off measurements to contribute to a publication, or users who need a small number of measurements to complete a data set.

Proposal guidelines

All users of the mail-in service must create a proposal on the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering user portal at No scientific justification is required, and proposals will be reviewed for technical feasibility and safety only. The proposal requirements are significantly abbreviated:

  1. Experiment page: Choose a science area and write a brief plain language description of the science in the “Project Summary” section. Indicate any intellectual property concerns. 
  2. Researchers page: Skip this page.
  3. Instruments page: Select Quokka from the drop down list (it is the only choice but you have to actually select it). Enter any sample handling hazards; the other fields can be left blank. On the Quokka page (opens when you add Quokka as an instrument):
    • Enter the date you would like the data by in the “Desired Starting Date” field. Proposals will be run in the order we receive them, and are not able to guarantee they will be run by a certain date as this will depend on demand.
    • Enter 1 in the “No. of Days Requested” field.
    • Indicate the desired Q range in the “Experimental Setup” field (the available Q range is 0.0007 – 0.7 Å-1). The instrument scientist will be in touch to establish suitable counting times. The mail in service is not suitable for samples that will require more than 2 hours measuring time.
  4. Samples page: add all samples to the table (follow the instructions on the page). Maximum of 5 samples per proposal.
  5. Figures page: skip this page.

Submit page: submit the proposal when complete.

Sample guidelines

At this time, only liquid and solid samples are being accepted under the mail-in scheme. A full safety review will be carried out on the proposed samples before a mail-in proposal is accepted. 

Samples can be shipped in Helma cells or the instrument scientist will pipette samples into our own cells, or load solid samples into our sample blocks. Any other sample preparation is outside the scope of the mail-in service.

All samples must be packaged and shipped to ANSTO according to Australian and international transportation regulations. Users are responsible for transportation costs.

Following the measurement the sample will be disposed (other arrangements may be discussed).  If users are providing their own cells these will be returned at the users’ expense.

Data Policy

Data collected using the mail-in service are subject to the normal ANSTO non-proprietary research policy: it is expected that scientific results will be published in the open literature with appropriate reference to ANSTO and use of the Quokka small angle neutron scattering instrument.