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Production of ultra-high-vacuum chambers with integrated getter thin-film coatings by electroforming

Abstract : Titanium Zirconium Vanadium (TiZrV) thin film coatings are used in particle accelerators and synchrotron light sources to maintain ultra-high vacuum conditions. They are deposited on the internal walls of the vacuum chambers, transforming them from a gas source into a chemical pump. The trend in electron accelerators design consists in approaching the poles of the steering magnets close to the electron beam. This implies reducing the bore hosting the vacuum chamber and using very small diameter vacuum pipes. The application of physical vapor deposition (PVD) in such small diameter chambers becomes then very difficult. The aim of this project is to develop a novel procedure of coating/assembly, using a sacrificial aluminium mandrel as substrate of the thin film together with the creation of a surrounding copper chamber by electroforming. The first part of the study deals with the production and characterization of the electroformed chambers. The mechanical robustness of the assembly is checked, and the film characterization is performed by secondary electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF) and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). Moreover, the pumping performance is measured and compared with reference values of coatings produced by the standard PVD technique. The second part of the study evaluates the impurities included during the different steps of the process: PVD coating, electroforming and chemical etching of the mandrel. Thermal desorption spectroscopy and XPS depth profiling allow to quantify the impurities in the electroformed copper and the TiZrV thin film. Furthermore, the presence of hydrogen trapped in the electroformed copper is studied for different copper sulphate baths. One of them, without additives, require the use of pulse currents. The electrochemical behaviour of the bath allows the selection of different pulse parameters, derived from typical situations on the transient curves. Finally, the development of real-scale prototypes was achieved with the creation of a 4 mm diameter, 2 meters TiZrV coated vacuum chamber, which is unrivalled up to date.
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Lucia Lain Amador. Production of ultra-high-vacuum chambers with integrated getter thin-film coatings by electroforming. Analytical chemistry. Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019UBFCD006⟩. ⟨tel-02464922⟩

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