Centre for Molecular and Materials Science (CMMS) at TRIUMF

Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia
Area(s) of Expertise

CMMS provides Canadian and international researchers with intense beams of muons and radioactive nuclides and specialized spectrometers and cryostats that are used to investigate diverse areas of chemistry, physics and materials science. The radioactive nuclei act as local probes in the materials and provide information about structure, dynamics and magnetic properties. The muon-spin spectroscopy facility at CMMS is one of only four comparable facilities worldwide and is the only one in the Americas, while the ß-NMR facility, which is used for characterizing thin films and interfaces, is unique. CMMS personnel work with visiting researchers to apply µSR or ß-NMR to their scientific problems.

What the facility does

Research in chemistry and materials science

Research Services

Muon-spin spectroscopy, ß-NMR spectroscopy

Sectors of Application
  • Automotive
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Education
  • Energy (renewable and fossil)

Name of specialized lab

Name of equipment

Description of function

Muon beamline


Intense surface muon beamline with spin rotation



Intense surface muon beamline with two experimental stations, spin rotation and muons-on-request system for ultra-low-background measurements



High-momentum muon beamline with spin rotation for studying materials under pressure. The capabilities of the M9B beamline are unique.



Under construction; estimated completion date August 2013. Intense surface muon beamline with spin rotation and muons-on-request system. This beamline will be dedicated to high-throughput materials characterization.

µSR spectrometer

Dilution refrigerator spectrometer

This spectrometer can characterize materials down to temperatures of 8 mK and up to magnetic fields of 5 T


HiTime spectrometer

This highly requested spectrometer has exceptionally good time resolution and can measure much higher precession frequencies than other spectrometers


Helios spectrometer

This workhorse spectrometer has a maximum magnetic field of 6 T and a large bore, which makes it useful for chemistry experiments. It is compatible with a range of cryostats and furnaces giving an operating range of 1.2 K to 900 K.


LAMPF spectrometer

This multi-purpose spectrometer can be configured for a wide range of experiments but is ideal for experiments in zero magnetic field. It is compatible with a range of cryostats and furnaces giving an operating range of 1.2 K to 900 K.

Isotope separator and accelerator (ISAC) facility for radioactive ion beam production

ß-NMR spectrometer

This spectrometer is centred on a high-homogeneity 9 T superconducting solenoid magnet (directed along the initial 8Li polarization) and has a cryostat that operates between 3.5 K and 320 K


ß-NQR spectrometer

This spectrometer has Helmholtz coils that can apply a small uniform magnetic field from 0 mT to 20 mT parallel to both the sample surface and initial 8Li  polarization. The ß-NQR cryostat runs from 4 K to 300 K and has a sample ladder with four positions, allowing multiple samples to be run without breaking the ultra-high vacuum.