Experimental Methods for the Assessment of NEG Pumps Working in Dust-Sensitive Environments
NEG pumps have been widely adopted by many accelerator facilities since decades. However, their use in dust-sensitive areas - such as superconductive radio frequency (SRF) cavities - has always been limited by concerns about accidental dust emission, which could induce detrimental field emission. As future machines will necessarily rely on highly-efficient SRF cavities, able to supply very high accelerating gradients, requirements in terms of particle release from vacuum components (e.g., pumps
... onents (e.g., pumps and valves) are becoming more and more stringent. At the same time, achieving stable ultra-high vacuum conditions is crucial, as condensed residual gas might also be a potential source of field emission. At present, a unified standard procedure to assess dust generation and propagation along a machine is still missing and discussions are ongoing in the vacuum community. Recent experimental measurements demonstrated the compatibility of sintered NEG pumps with ultra-clean environments, due to their intrinsic very low dust release. In parallel, in-situ tests performed at different accelerator facilities showed absence of dust contamination from NEGs and no impact on cavities efficiency.