Pfeiffer Vacuum, French developer of high-end vacuum technology has been working in cooperation with the European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser (European XFEL) to provide high vacuum conditions at its research facility.

 HiPace turbopumps installed at XFEL

HiPace turbopumps installed at XFEL

European XFEL is an X-ray research laser facility in Germany that generates ultrashort X-ray flashes 27,000 times per second that allow scientists to map atomic details of viruses, film chemical reactions, and study the processes in the interior of planets.

The processes at European XFEL require ultra-high (UVH) or high vacuum (HV) conditions. It is important to maintain a good level of vacuum so that the XFEL beam and high-power lasers can propagate and interact with matter at the experiment stations without being affected by air molecules or hydrocarbons generating background signals on the detectors.

In response to this need, Pfeiffer Vacuum has succesfully developed tailored solutions such as vacuum pumps, leak detectors and vacuum components for multiple applications.

Ian Thorpe, Instrument Engineer for high energy density (HED) Instrument at XFEL, said, “It was important that the vacuum equipment could be integrated into the specific XFEL control systems.”