Particle Accelerators

Particle accelerators are machines that use electromagnetic fields to generate and propel charged particles to speeds as high as 99.999% of the speed of light, and to steer and focus these particles in a well-defined beam. These beams are used in myriad ways, from performing revolutionary research on the origins of the universe, to innovative and non-invasive treatment of cancers.

Generating and maintaining these particle beams is only possible in vacuum, and particle accelerators have some of the most demanding technical requirements in the vacuum industry. Exceptionally clean and deep vacuum is required for accelerator applications, and the vacuum equipment used on these machines must frequently operate in the presence of high magnetic fields and ionizing radiation.

Pfeiffer Vacuum has worked for decades with scientists and engineers at some of the world’s most well-known and well-respected scientific institutions to meet their stringent and unique vacuum needs. Pfeiffer Vacuum has been a partner in enabling some of the most groundbreaking nuclear physics research published since its invention of the turbomolecular pump in 1958.

Key application requirements

  • Achieving ultra-high vacuum (P > 10-10 mbar)

  • Operation in magnetic fields (shielding of pumps)

  • Remote electronics for operation in radiation environments

  • Dry, particle free backing pumps

  • High reliability and minimal maintenance

Research facility of superlatives: the European XFEL