VIRP chamber spectrometer v2.0

VIRP chamber spectrometer v2.0

A little more progress for our Direct Ion Detection project: the images above and below show some developments of our VIRP chamber (for rapid vacuum instrument prototyping), showing v2.0 of the charged particle spectrometer stack (following a rebuild) with some of the in vacuo wiring attached.  Time-lapse build footage to follow!  This configuration will allow us to perform experiments with direct ion detection, and optimise the methodologies and technologies.

Update: time-lapse build footage is now online.

For further background 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)

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Vacuum sublimation coatings

Vacuum sublimation coatings

Last week was a busy week, with Prof. Claire Vallance (and two colleagues) visiting to help with technology transfer for our Direct Ion Detection project, based on their previous work in this area. Some scintillator coatings, using the laser dye Exalite 389, were successfully prepared. The video shows this (very basic!) coating technique in action, and the image above shows one of the results, under the microscope. This coating will be combined with a Hamamatsu MPPC chip to form a complete ion detection system.

Vacuum sublimation in progress from femtolab.ca on Vimeo.

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)

VIRP Chamber: Vacuum Instrument Rapid Prototyping

VIRP Chamber: Vacuum Instrument Rapid Prototyping

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)

VUV chambers, mk. II

VUV chambers, mk. II

New vacuum chambers for generation of light  in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) range (<190 nm, e.g. 5th, 6th and 7th harmonics of an 800 nm field).

Milled from a single piece of aluminium, breadboard mount points, and ports for light, vacuum and motion control.

Modular, shiny, beautiful.