dr. Henk Schut

I obtained my M.Sc. degree in physics in 1985 at Utrecht State University on a  project in collaboration with the Delft Inter-university Reactor Institute (IRI)  investigating the state of dense He gas trapped in nano-sized defects in aluminum films using Vacuum Ultraviolet (VUV) spectroscopy.  This research triggered my interest in the  fundamental aspects of the creation (by radiation impact)  and evolution of defects in materials using positrons (the anti-particles of the electrons) as probing particle. This, at that time emerging field of research, is presently referred to as Positron Annihilation spectroscopy.

From 1985-1990 I did my PhD research  in the group Defects in Materials  of  the section Reactor Physics.  In my thesis entitled “A variable positron beam facility with applications in materials science”  a description of the realization of the first and still unique Dutch positron beam facility and it’s early applications can be found.  During this period I had the chance to visit the positron group at Brookhaven National Laboratory and to collaborate in their research.   From then on I am working at the TUD/RID   as assistant professor in the section Positron and Neutron Methods in Materials.   In 2000 this culminated in the realization of the first nuclear reactor based high intensity variable energy positron (POSH) beam. Using the  energetic gamma radiation near the  core of the 2 MW Delft Hoger Onderwijs reactor (HOR) a high flux of positrons is created for 2D-ACAR and Coincident Doppler broadening studies in materials. Currently this facility is  being extended with a positron annihilation  lifetime spectrometer.

My scientific interest and expertise are on the development and application of positron annihilation techniques in materials science  with focus on defect studies in fusion and fission related metals (steel alloys, graphite),  in semiconductors and  polymers.  At the moment this has resulted in over 180 scientific papers.

Currently, I am teaching Thermodynamics for Engineers and  supervising  positron annihilation  research practicals  for physics Bachelor students and lecturing several positron topical courses at the Masters level. Available Bachelor and Master projects can be found on the NMP2 home page.