Synchrotron radiation is used in a wide range of research – for example, the Diamond synchrotron is being used by one team of researchers to study the causes of diseases such as Alzheimer’s. We are delighted that our equipment is contributing to such ground-breaking studies.

In 2009, Leading vacuum technology company Edwards has designed and delivered 14 bespoke vacuum carts to the UK’s national synchrotron, Diamond Light Source, on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire, which is currently the world’s brightest medium-energy source. In 2010, Edwards designed and supplied innovative mobile dry pumping stations for the new photon beam lines at DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron). DESY is the largest German research centre for basic research in the natural sciences, with special emphasis upon accelerators, photon science and particle physics. DESY develops runs and uses accelerators and detectors for photon science and particle physics.

The carts provide mobile high vacuum pumping stations for the synchrotron’s beam lines to help create the optimum vacuum conditions required by researchers. They also have the capability to be fitted with residual gas analysers (RGAs) to analyse the integrity of the vacuum in the beam lines. 

Further carts are likely to be required in the future as Diamond is in the process of adding more beam lines to the facility during Phase II of its development, which is due for completion in 2012 and will bring the total number of beam lines to 22. 
The easy-to-use, mobile, ‘plug and go’ Edwards unit means researchers can avoid the cost and space requirements of numerous fixed mechanical pumping stations on each beam line. Evacuating and venting the beam lines using the carts helps to ensure the cleanliness of the systems and so helps in achieving vacuum pressures less than 5 x 10-9 mbar in the beam lines. Pressures in the beam lines need to be kept in the ultra-high vacuum (UHV) region to ensure contamination does not migrate into the accelerator sections, to prevent contamination of x-ray optics and, in some beam lines, to maintain cleanliness of the samples under investigation. 
Each Edwards cart comprises an EXTTM225H compound molecular vacuum pump, an XDSTM10 dry scroll pump used as the backing pump, and a combination of active Pirani vacuum, active inverted magnetron and active wide range gauges. These are enclosed in a cart designed to meet the specific size and orientation requirements of the Diamond beam lines and which can be wheeled around the beam lines or to other locations as required. 
Edwards consulted the Diamond vacuum team throughout the design and production process of the pumping carts. Edwards designers and production engineers worked with Diamond’s specification, such as the cart dimensions, the orientation of the inlet vacuum ports along with guidelines for position of general service ports such as compressed air, power, and nitrogen for venting to come up with a suitable cart design. Diamond staff visited the Edwards factory during testing of the prototype cart and final modifications were made to meet the requirements of the synchrotron. 

Edwards has also supplied conversion kits to enable vacuum carts it had previously supplied to Diamond to be upgraded to the new design. 

The EXT255H turbomolecular pump uses multi-stage axial flow turbines combined with magnetic and ceramic bearings to provide reliable, hydrocarbon- and vibration-free ultra high vacuum with ultimate pressure down to 5 x10-9 mbar. 

The XDS10 acts as the backing pump, delivering low pressure combined with a high volume flow rate of up to 10m3/hr. Its unique design isolates the vacuum environment from any type of lubricant and also protects the bearing from any process vapours. Both pumps require minimal maintenance. 

“Edwards was able to provide both high quality, reliable vacuum equipment and the design flexibility to create a solution tailored to the Diamond vacuum team’s precise requirements. The XDS dry scroll pump in particular offers significant benefits and is the roughing pump standard that has been chosen for Diamond. 

“After supplying equipment to the previous national synchrotron at Dares bury, where the initial design of Diamond was developed, we were very pleased to contribute to this facility,” says Mike Shaw, European Sales Manager – Scientific, at Edwards. “Diamond had a very demanding specification but by combining the skills of our design and production teams we were able to create exactly what they needed.


In May 2013, CERN has placed an order for 30 XDS35i dry scroll pumps and 5 XDS10 dry scroll pumps. Some of these pumps are to replace an existing installation of previous generation Edwards’ scroll pumps; this upgrade to the newer generation of scroll pumps will take place during CERN’s scheduled extended shutdown, (2013-2014). CERN’s Linear Accelerator 4 (Linac 4) test bench already has the new XDS pumps installed. Linac 4 is 80 meters long and located 12 meters below ground; construction is almost complete, and beams will begin to be produced in 2014. The full connection to the LHC injector chain is expected in 2017. This will double the LHC beam brightness, and is the first step in the project to increase the luminosity of the Large Hadron Collider during the next decade.

CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research, based on the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva.

Edwards’ XDS range incorporates a unique dry pumping scroll mechanism that provides a robust and clean pumping solution. The XDS offer a completely oil free vacuum and are hermetically sealed; bearing life is significantly extended, therefore reducing maintenance and environmental impact. Annual interventions (repairs, labour and maintenance) for Edwards’ XDS10 and XDS35i dry pumps are on average three times less than that for oil-sealed pumps. Minor service requirements can be carried out in-situ, an important benefit for CERN as their pumps have to be serviced on site. The high reliability of the XDS pumps was another advantage for CERN.

“We have a long experience with scroll pumps produced by Edwards; their reliability is in line with our expectation” said Paolo Chiggiato, deputy leader of the Vacuum, Surfaces and Coatings group at CERN. 

“Edwards strives to supply leading edge products for leading edge research and we are delighted that CERN has chosen to use Edwards’ scroll technology for their highest profile experiments,” commented Russell Coleman, Edwards’ Market Sector Manager, R&D.

Applications Includes:

  • Accelerators
  • Analysis and surface physics
  • Beam lines
  • Electron beam welding
  • Load locks
  • High energy physics
  • Research & development
  • Surface science
  • UHV systems