A generalized mean-squared displacement from inelastic fixed window scans of incoherent neutron scattering as a model-free indicator of anomalous diffusion confinement
Institut Laue-Langevin, 71 avenue des Martyrs, 38042 Grenoble, France
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Published online: 23 January 2015
Elastic fixed window scans of incoherent neutron scattering are an established and frequently employed method to study dynamical changes, usually over a broad temperature range or during a process such as a conformational change in the sample. In particular, the apparent mean-squared displacement can be extracted via a model-free analysis based on a solid physical interpretation as an effective amplitude of molecular motions. Here, we provide a new account of elastic and inelastic fixed window scans, defining a generalized mean-squared displacement for all fixed energy transfers. We show that this generalized mean-squared displacement in principle contains all information on the real mean-square displacement accessible in the instrumental time window. The derived formula provides a clear understanding of the effects of instrumental resolution on the apparent mean-squared displacement. Finally, we show that the generalized mean-square displacement can be used as a model-free indicator on confinement effects within the instrumental time window.
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