A commercially available peltier driven temperature block is now in use at NGB 30m SANS. The block was designed and manufactured by Quantum Northwest. The 9 position block has 3 independently controlled tempreature zones, each controlling 3 sample wells. Standard operations allow a temperature range of -10 °C to 110 °C. The total temperature range of the system is -40 °C to 140 °C, but to reach the extremes requires adjustment of the sink temperature.
The main advantage of the block over others is the time to equilibration. Fluid driven blocks can take up to an hour for the sample to equilibrate. For standard operations, equilibration of the sample temperature using the 9CB is acheived in less than 10 minutes for temperature jumps of 50 degrees or less.
To ensure optimal temperature stability, quartz windows are installed before and after the sample. Quartz is optically transparent and transmits a laser beam used for the alignment of the sample block.
This sample changer is currently only available at the NGB 30m SANS instrument. 9-position blocks for the NG7 SANS and 10m SANS instruments and a 27 position block for the VSANS instrument are in the planning stages.