- More than 50 years of excellence in the control of large, distributed, high (HV), ultra-high (UHV) and extremely high (XHV) vacuum systems
- World-class training for the next generation of experts in vacuum technology (around 50 early career trainees per year at technician, PhD and Post Doc level)
- Significant know-how in surface characterisation, treatments and coatings (including electroplating and thin films)
- Development and operation of software for the simulation of gas flow dynamics and pressure profiles
Facts & Figures:
- 127,000 m: Combined length of vacuum vessels in the CERN accelerator complex
- 15,000 m³: Volume of LHC insulating vacuum system
- 250,000 of welded joints in the LHC
- Down to 10-12 mbar: Pressure in LHC beam pipes as on the dark side of the moon
Read more about High and Ultra High Vacuum Systems here.
Operation of large HV, UHV and XHVsystems:
The LHC is a very large and complex system of interconnected vacuum vessels - under high (HV) to extremely high vacuum (XHV). In order to secure reliable and high-performance operation, CERN experts have developed significant expertise in vacuum systems.
A few specifications:
- Mechanical and vacuum engineering, including thin-walled equipment such as windows and bellow
- Sealing and leak-tightness technology
- Simulation of gas transport in HV, UHV and XHV systems
- Distributed control systems, interlocks and monitoring tools
- Coatings, electroplating and surface cleaning techniques
- Characterization of materials and surfaces for vacuum
- Applications, including outgassing and permeation measurements
- High temperature treatments under vacuum
- XHV production and measurements
Functional thin-film coatings for UHV performance:
Getters are widely used in industry to create and maintain vacuum. CERN’s NEG method uses cathode sputtering - a vacuum deposition process - to create a thin layer of NEG coating over a wide surface area of the chamber: significantly improving the pumping effectiveness and helping to maintain UHV.
Sealing & leak tightness technology:
Tools and techniques for the sealing, detection and measurement of leaks in Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) systems. CERN’s technologies and know-how are particularly useful for pipes or joints that vary in diameter and are located in restricted places.