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The Full Guide To Ultra-High Vacuums

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Ultra-high vacuum parts come in many different shapes and sizes, with all playing a critical role in ensuring the vacuum is generated and controlled in a manner that produces the performance you require. 

From UHV stepper motors to vacuum gauges, you need to get to grips with all of the components before you can even begin to think about creating a vacuum. Reputable companies like Tameson can assist with valves, gauges, and more. Read on to discover more about the different vacuum parts that are available.

The first component we are going to take a look at is the stepper motor. Purchasing a vacuum compatible stepper motor is of paramount importance, as standard motors do not have the ability to operate for long at pressures that are lower than 10-4 Torr. Consequently, specialist manufacturers of ultra-high vacuum parts have developed stepper motors that provide extended operation at low pressures without motor performance being compromised. 

There is a lot that needs to be considered when you are looking for a stepper motor for your vacuum at your business. If you are going to be handling sensitive applications, you must choose a stepper motor with even more care. You need to look for something with low outgassing characteristics and the absence of metal-to-metal sliding surfaces. Of course, the torque rating and the size of the stepper motor will also need to be taken into account. Specialist options are available for high vacuum systems, as you can find stepper motors with extended low-temperature ranges. 

Needless to say, a high-pressure vacuum pump is a necessity as well. There are many different pumps to choose from, including roots, oil ejector, sorption, rotary vane, aspirator, titanium sublimation, cryopumps, and much more. Of course, this all depends on the type of vacuum you need. For ultra-high vacuums, you are looking at a cryopump, titanium sublimation, sputter-ion, or turbomolecular. You also need to consider the likes of gas sensitivity and whether the pump is clean.

We cannot possibly discuss ultra-high vacuum technology without taking a look at vacuum gauges, which are used to test the pressure once a vacuum has been produced. Pressure readings range from atmospheric pressure down, to lower pressure, to absolute zero pressure. Of course, the latter is not achievable, and thus you are looking for pressures that approach absolute zero. Gauges used for very low pressures may only read a portion of the range, whereas others can read the entire range. For ultra-high vacuums, ionisation gauges are exclusively used. This is because the ionisation rate appears to be the only economically reasonable and practical indicator of pressure in UHV. The ionisation rate is produced in the UHV chamber when electrons hit the neutral gas atoms. 

Of course, when looking to purchase an ion gauge, you need something with high levels of accuracy. The only way to make sure this is the case is to purchase from a reputable retailer, and to read reviews on the gauge that have been left by others that have already used it. You will also want a gauge with a clear and large display, with an array of features to help you extract the maximum data and to control processes effectively. 

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