The research neutron source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) is a central scientific institute of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) housed on the premises of the Research Centre in Garching. The FRM II came into user operation in April 29, 2005 and provides neutrons for science, industry and medicine in four cycles of 60 days a year. The source is operated by the Technische Universität München (TUM), and financed by the Bavarian Ministry for Science and the Arts. The scientific use of FRM II is additionally financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The source is placed at the disposal of industry for about 30 % of the usable beam time. This includes both industry-related research, funded by the public purse and contract research, funded by industry e.g. the doping of silicon for the semiconductor industry, the production of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine and industry, elemental analysis and tumor therapy.
The core aim of the reactor operation is to provide a high neutron flux. It is not used to generate electricity. With 20 megawatts of thermal power, the FRM II produces only about 0.6 % of the thermal power produced by a conventional nuclear power plant to generate electricity. It has the world's best thermal ratio of performance to neutron flux and is thus one of the most effective and modern neutron sources in the world.
The scientific use of the FRM II takes place within the framework of a cooperation between the TUM, Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht with the collaboration of the Max Planck Society and nine other university groups which go under the name” Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum” (MLZ). The MLZ is jointly funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture, Science and Art as well as partners in the cooperation. As a service centre for users engaged in cutting-edge research using neutrons and positrons, the MLZ can boast unique and powerful equipment. Scientists from all around the world can apply for measurement time at about 30 different scientific instruments. More than 1000 scientists annually use the FRM II’s neutrons for their experiments and investigations.