The Vacuum Science Group is based at Daresbury Laboratory and is part of the UK’s Accelerator Science and Technology Centre, ASTeC.
Members of the group have wide experience in the design and operation of large vacuum systems for particle accelerators. The group’s main strengths lie in the development and use of advanced modelling techniques for vacuum system design and knowledge and understanding of specific particle accelerators vacuum problems as well as ultra high vacuum (UHV) and extreme high vacuum (XHV) techniques. We use our skills both in the support and improvement of existing accelerator facilities and in the design and specification of new facilities.
The group is proud of its state of the art vacuum science laboratory and instrumentation laboratory. These laboratories are used to run an advanced programme of research and development, as well as to provide the necessary vacuum facilities to underpin ASTeC programmes.
The principal areas of activity include:
- investigating the properties of non-evaporable getters (NEG) and novel coatings for vacuum applications
- developing the techniques for producing thin films on vacuum vessel walls
- development of XHV technique for superconducting RF (SCRF) and photoinjectors
- development of the materials used as photocathodes and processes involved in improving their performance
- vacuum metrology and calibration service
- investigating new cleaning techniques for UHV and XHV applications
- advanced modelling and design of vacuum systems
- evaluation and development of vacuum equipment including pump speed measurements.
In addition, members of the group are actively involved in training and education in the field of vacuum science and technology, paper reviewing for peer-review journals, organising vacuum conferences, workshops and other events, having links with a number of universities and departments as well as active involvement in the work of the International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications (IUVSTA), the American AVS and the vacuum group of the Institute of Physics (IoP).