Muon spin resonance spectroscopy is less well known than other spin spectroscopic techniques such as NMR and EPR, but it provides researchers with an important tool that can be used to study a wide range of problems in physics and chemistry.
The muon technique involves implanting spin-polarised positive muons into a material. Muons are short-lived particles, decaying after an average lifetime of 2.2μs to produce positrons. The decay positrons which emerge from a sample after muon implantation are detected, revealing information about the muons’ behaviour inside the material – particularly about how the muon polarisation changed within the sample. This, in turn, enables us to deduce information about the atomic-level properties of the material.
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