Getters are materials widely used in industry to create and maintain vacuum. To realize ultra-high vacuum at low temperatures, a new technology has been developed based on the Non-Evaporable Getter (NEG) thin film coatings. These coatings, produced by sputtering, may recover their chemical reactivity (i.e. pumping function) by heating at temperature as low as 180 °C.
NEG thin-film coatings have been developed for the LHC project and have been already tested in a real accelerator at ESFR - Grenoble and ELECTRA-Sincotrone Trieste.
Please see related information here on Palladium thin-film coatings.
Areas of expertise
High and ultra-high vacuums; Surfaces and coatings.
- Improvement of pumps or creation of innovative pumps.
- Electron and cathode tubes.
- Vacuumthermal insulation at high temperature (solar applications).
- Vacuumcomponents of any types (blanks, bellows, crosses, Tees, transitions) to replace or complement pumps of other types.
- Vacuum thermal insulation at low temperature.
- After activation, the surface outgassing induced by radiation and / or particle bombardment is strongly reduced.
- The coating blocks the outgassing of the underlying vacuum chamber walls.
- The vacuum chamber is transformed from a gas source into a pump.
- NEG performance was characterised using 20 different types of materials.
- Baking at temperature in the range 180 ℃ to 400 ℃.
- Ultra-high vacuum is achieved (10 - 13 Torr).
- Reversible process for hydrogen.
- Up to 50 venting cycles possible with a marginal performance loss.
- Can not be exposed too often to ambient air.
- Requires high degree of know-how.
Intellectual Property status
Ready for licensing except for systems for microscope ion and electron beam source chamber and sputter-ion pumps. Patented technology, WO9749109.