Centre for Molecular and Materials Science (CMMS)

TRIUMF, Vancouver, British Columbia
What the facility does

Probing the properties of materials and chemical systems using muon spin rotation, relaxation and resonance (μSR) and β-detected NMR (βNMR) spectroscopy

Areas of expertise

Leveraging TRIUMF’s unique accelerator infrastructure, the Centre for Molecular and Materials Science (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. TRIUMF’s Molecular and Material Science team work with visiting researchers to apply µSR or β-NMR to their scientific problems. µSR and β-NMR have provided invaluable information about quantum materials such as superconductors and a wide range of exotic magnetic materials, semiconductors, battery materials, chemical reactions, soft matter and biologically-relevant systems.

Research services
  • Muon-spin spectroscopy
  • ß-NMR spectroscopy
Sectors of application
  • Automotive
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Education
  • Energy

Specialized lab



Muon beamlines


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



Intense surface muon beamline with spin rotation and muons-on-request system. This beamline will be dedicated to high-throughput materials characterization.

µSR spectrometers

Dilution refrigerator spectrometer

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

  NuTime spectrometer This spectrometer features magnetic fields of up to 7 T. It 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 centered 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.

  • The University of British Columbia
  • Simon Fraser University
  • University of Alberta
  • Université de Montréal
  • Mount Allison University
  • McMaster University
  • McGill University
  • Columbia University (USA)
  • KEK (Japan)
Title URL
TRIUMF Five-Year Plan 2020-2025: Centre for Molecular and Material Science https://fiveyearplan.triumf.ca/cmms/
International Innovation article on µSR http://musr.ca/intro/musr/IntInnov/IntInnov2012-muSR_hi-rez.pdf
Dr. Rob Kiefl is awarded 2017 Yamazaki Prize https://www.triumf.ca/current-events/dr-rob-kiefl-awarded-2017-yamazaki-prize