Recently, Pfeiffer Vacuum has received an important order from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, to deliver a DREEBIT ion beam system to the university for use in its Institute of Nuclear Physics. Researchers from the LaserSpHERe (Laser Spektroskopie an hochgeladenen Ionen und exotischen radioaktiven Nukliden, Laser Spectroscopic Measurement of Highly Charged Ions and Exotic Radionuclides) working group in Darmstadt will carry out various frontiers in atomic, nuclear and particle physics at the institute Physical precision experiments, in which laser spectroscopic measurements of highly charged ions and exotic short-lived isotopes are the focus of research. This research project was supported by the German Science Foundation (DFG) SFB 1245 Special Research Unit.
At the end of 2014, the Institute of Nuclear Physics of Darmstadt University of Technology started the construction of a large-scale scientific research facility “Kollineare Apparatur für Laserspektroskopie und angewandte Physik, KOALA” (Kollineare Apparatur für Laserspektroskopie und angewandte Physik, KOALA). The system is intended to be applied to this device. The EBIS-A ion source used in the system generates charged ions of various light chemical elements for use in the experiments, which are connected to the beam guide of the KOALA apparatus. In order for the particles to move as freely as possible in the beam guide tube, a pure ultra-high vacuum environment is necessary, and maintaining this low pressure environment must rely on extremely powerful and reliable vacuum generation technology. This is especially true of the new ion source system, in which all relevant vacuum components are supplied by Pfeiffer Vacuum, which allows ions to stay in it for a longer period of time.
Figure: DREEBIT ion beam system, which generates charged particles for experiments
Just as fireworks can take on a variety of colors, each element emits and absorbs certain wavelengths of light in precise ranges that the human eye perceives as different colors. The color depends on the type of chemical element and the charge state of the atom, and high-precision wavelength measurement can not only provide information about the type of chemical element and its charge state, but can even determine the size of the nucleus if compared with high-precision theoretical calculations.
Dr. Wilfried Nörtershäuser, head of the working group at Darmstadt University of Technology, explained the technical advantages of the KOALA beamline: “So far, the spectroscopic measurement of atomic radii has only been possible in hydrogen-like systems with only one electron. Because only then are theoretical calculations accurate enough. However, when considering experimental requirements, such simple atomic systems have a major disadvantage, namely that the wavelengths used are in the far-ultraviolet region of the spectrum, making it difficult to use captured by existing laser systems. However, current technology already promises to be accurate enough to accommodate more complex helium-like systems with two electrons. Their wavelengths are much easier to capture with laser systems, and thus, In the future it will be possible to determine the radii of nuclei from helium to nitrogen significantly and more precisely. Once the DREEBIT ion beam system with the EBIS-A ion source is installed, the KOALA facility provides the ideal prerequisites for this.”
Figure: KOALA (Kollineare Apparatur für Laserspektroskopie und angewandte Physik, Collinear Facility for Laser Spectroscopy and Applied Physics) beamline schematic
Since DREEBIT GmbH was founded in 2006, its “Ion Beam Technology” division has developed and brought to the market several types of ion sources, such as EBIS and ECRIS. They are mainly installed in various particle accelerators for scientific research and medical applications such as ion beam therapy. DREEBIT GmbH has been part of the Pfeiffer Vacuum Group since 2017 and focuses on the development of special systems and maintenance vacuum products. As of now, the company has bases in Dresden and Großröhrsdorf, Germany, and has a total of about 70 employees.
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