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A series of calibration measurements have been performed on Suanni – the first small-angle neutron scattering spectrometer entering into routine user operation in China – aiming to characterize instrument performance and to provide a reference for user experiments. Various calibration standards were used to verify the precise association of the scattering intensity I with the scattering vector magnitude q at short and medium sample–detector distances. The measurements recorded for silver behenate powder revealed a slight shift of the neutron wavelength (λ) at the sample position as compared to the nominal λ calculated by the selector constant. The deviation was more significant with λ > 0.8 nm owing to the shape of the incoming neutron spectrum incident on the selector. The measured dead time for the entire detection system is 2.7 µs, as determined by measurements with varying fluxes. A protonated/deuterated polystyrene blend was employed as the primary standard to calibrate the secondary standard H2O. The instrument covers an effective q range between 0.013 and 5 nm−1, as demonstrated by scattering curves obtained from a monodisperse poly(methyl methacrylate) nanoparticle suspension and a glassy carbon plate.

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