The photographs above show our new Vacuum Instrument Rapid Prototyping (VIRP) chamber. The chamber is based around hardware from Kimball Physics (with a company motto that we can all agree with: to advance humankind by doing good physics), which provides a basic construction framework for vacuum instrumentation.
Combined with home-built parts and active components for measurement and control, the VIRP chamber should provide us with a great test-bed for prototyping new instrument designs and testing new detector hardware, as well as provide the full gamut of basic vacuum equipment testing capabilities.
The first configuration for the VIRP chamber consists of a basic Wiley-McLaren time-of-flight (ToF) instrument. This basic ToF mass spectrometer will be used with a femtosecond laser source for the development of new “direct” ion detection technology, in collaboration with our colleagues at the Oxford University (UK), and the PImMS consortuim, starting from their existing work in this area.
For further details, see:
A new detector for mass spectrometry: Direct detection of low energy ions using a multi-pixel photon counter
Edward S. Wilman, Sara H. Gardiner, Andrei Nomerotski, Renato Turchetta, Mark Brouard and Claire Vallance
Rev. Sci. Instrum. 83, 013304 (2012).
Improved direct detection of low-energy ions using a multipixel photon counter coupled with a novel scintillator
Winter, King, Brouard & Vallance
International Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 397–398, 27–31 (2016)