“The Even-Lavie valve as a source for high intensity supersonic beam”
© Even. licensee Springer on behalf of EPJ. 2016
Received: 19 November 2015
Accepted: 16 December 2015
Published: 29 December 2015
We use extensive computer simulation to design (and test) a high pressure, fast acting, pulsed, valve that can produce short pulses of gas. We use flow simulations from shaped nozzles to optimize the beam density and finally use low density simulation to decide on the best skimmer shape and placement. All these details are crucial to operate a high intensity beam machine.
These limitations were overcome when pulsed gas sources became available [10–16]. If the gas pulse is short enough (shorter than a typical molecular reflection time from the walls of the vacuum chamber), and if the repetition rate is low enough to so that the mean gas pressure is less than 10−5 mbars in the source chamber, then the gas expands without hindrance, and no structured shock waves interfere with the jet propagation. Much smaller turbo-molecular pumps (300–500 l/sec) can now be used for low repetition rate experiments (10-50Hz), while bigger pumps (3000 l/sec) are still required for higher repetition rates (1–5 KHz) pulsed valve systems. The following parts will summarize our experience with one type of a pulsed valve that we developed, and is still the only one that can be used over a very wide temperature scale (40-5500 K). The valve is an electro- magnetic actuated device. Readily available computer simulation programs can now be used to optimize the electro- magnetic structure, the mechanical movement dynamics, the nozzle shape and the interaction of the high density resulting jet with skimmers. These processes will be explained and experimental results will be shown. These valves, known as the “Even-Lavie” valves are now widely used in more than 100 labs. Some details have been published before .
High pressure, wide temperature range pulsed valve
General dimensions consideration and material selection
We want the gas pulse to be short enough to reduce the required pump load and to allow the gas to expand into a good vacuum and neglect vacuum walls interaction during the pulse. Considering the high velocity of a light expansion gas (and Helium will be proven to be the best choice, with velocities of up to ~2300 m/sec at 500°K), and typical dimension of 0.1 m for the vacuum wall diameter, we get a gas reflection time of 40 microseconds. The gas pulse should be shorter than this typical time.
The short pulse time can be achieved by miniaturization of the moving parts (small masses), creating a magnetic structure with small air gaps (to maximize the generated field and force) and to minimize the amplitude of the mechanical movement.
The coil generating the field should have small inductance to allow for a fast rise time of the current pulse (microseconds).
The wide temperature range implies that there will be considerable thermal expansion in the valve components. Not all the materials in the valve have the same expansion coefficients, thus the method of sealing should be based on constant force applied by internal springs to compensate for thermal expansion.
We should strive to make the metallic parts inert dictating the use of stainless steel (304) for the valve body, high nickel alloy for the springs (Nimonic 90), and strong strength alloy (Inconel 625) for the thin walled pressure tube. The magnetic parts are made from a magnetic stainless steel (alloy 250) which is a compromise between the required high magnetic saturation alloy and sensitivity to corrosion (usually these two requirements are contradictory). Not all batches of the magnetic circuit alloys are created equal, depending on their history of thermal treatment. We have to test (and reject) each batch for its magnetic saturation by inserting it in a coil and measuring the resultant current flow, selecting only the batch with high permeability in high magnetic fields. The sealing material is Kapton that is flexible enough but also strong enough for the sealing forces required and can also withstand elevated temperatures.
Magnetic circuit simulation
Mechanical motion simulation
The masses of the plunger and the return spring.
The shape of the current pulse.
The local saturation of the magnetic properties of the plunger and plug.
The closure of the air gap in the magnetic circuit during the motion.
The recoil velocity when the plunger hits the immobile plug.
The recoil from the nozzle surface at the end of the motion cycle.
Valve construction details
Stainless gas inlet tube (1/16”).
Tightening spring (100 N) and pressure relief valve.
Kapton foil gasket (rear, 0.125 mm. thickness).
Ruby rear guiding ferrule.
Return spring (Nimonic 19 alloy).
Thin walled pressure vessel (Inconel 625 alloy).
Reciprocating plunger (magnetic stainless steel alloy 750).
Kapton insulated copper coil (0.6 mm wire diameter 6x6 winding).
Magnetic shield (alloy 17/4PH) and field concentrator.
Ruby front guiding ferrule.
Kapton foil gasket (front, 0.125 mm. thickness).
Front flange (stainless or copper).
Conical (or trumpet) shape expansion nozzle (Zirconia ceramic or hardened stainless steel).
The carrier gas is exposed to Inconel, Stainless steel of various grades and Kapton only, and is thus inert to most molecules. It is susceptible to metallic corrosion if Halides are used and the Kapton is sensitive to Ammonia or other Amines. Low concentration (1 %) of Halides (even Fluorine) can be compatible if water traces are removed. Low concentration of Amines can also be tolerated, but may require more frequent gaskets change. We recommend that the valve should be pumped down when not in use (say overnight) so as to reduce the corrosion rate (even with water vapors).
The reflected shock waves inside the nozzle are evident in the kink from the smooth curve, most evident in the bell shaped nozzles. The smoothest curve is achieved for the trumpet shaped nozzle.
Pulse profile in time at the valve exit
These measurements also indicate that a pulse time width of ~10microsec. is a practical lower limit for pulsed valves of this type and dimensions.
Velocity spread and achieved Mach numbers and temperatures
Skimmer design and position
Because high pressure shaped nozzles can produce high on-axis beam intensities, it is not surprising that modifications of the accepted skimmer design are required. Since the early days of low intensity continuous beams, skimmers have been recognized as more than a simple bystander that extracts the central portion of the beam. The effects of molecules scattering from the finite skimmer edges have long been recognized [1, 5, 31, 42–44], and the reduced transmission of the beam through the skimmer was termed “skimmer interference”. At times the term “skimmer clogging” was used to describe the dramatic reduction in skimmer transmission. To study these effects, we employed the same DSMC gas flow simulation program  which is eminently suitable for the gas density encountered at the skimmer. Here we show how the skimmer distance, skimmer opening, and skimmer edge sharpness influence the transmission of the beam through the skimmer.
It is obvious from the simulation that the skimmer shape is wrong and that the entering beam intensity is too high. A severe loss of beam intensity is caused by the shock wave structure near the skimmer entrance.
A surprising result is that in order to allow for a reasonable beam transmission one has to move the skimmer to a larger distance from the nozzle, as large as 150 mm. (or 750 nozzle diameters!) for Ne or 55 mm. for helium. Lower beam transmission is found for Ar.
Ionic clusters and radical sources
There are some experiments where we want to study ions, ionic clusters, meta-stable atoms or molecular radicals. There were several attempts to combine a nozzle with electrical or laser discharge scheme to produce these species. In most cases the excitation process warms the supersonic jet, or contaminates it with sputtered electrode material [47–52]. We have developed a new type of electrode less Dielectric Barrier Discharge [53–56] source that does not heat the jet or contaminates it . The source is attached to the front flange of the Even-Lavie valve and uses a built in disk magnet to confine the discharge electrons. It operates on a series of rapid high voltage pulses.
The high collected current represents very high flux (3*1014 atoms/second, at the peak, for a time duration of ~10 microseconds). The narrow time width indicates high Mach number of the beam (up to 50) so no appreciable heating of the beam occurs [35, 58, 59]. The excitation occurs inside the expansion nozzle where there are still many collisions in the gas. The meta-stable energy state is the lowest excited state of the atoms. When using gas mixture we find only the lowest meta-stables. Thus a mixture of helium and neon will produce only the neon excited atoms. Even trace impurities (10 ppm) will steal the energy from the excited helium and transfer it to lower molecular states with high efficiency. Water is a common impurity and needs to be removed if meta-stable Helium is to be created efficiently.
This DBD source can replace laser photo fragmentation in many cases, with the added advantage of producing cold jets.
We have shown that intense and cold (<10mK) pulsed jets of short durations (25microsec.) and high repetition rate can be produced. The high pressure used in the valve and some nozzle shaping contribute to the beam intensity. Changes in skimmer shape and positioning are required to take advantage of the higher beam intensities.
Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
- N. F. Ramsey, (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1956).
- Ashkenas H, Sherman SF (1966) Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Rarefied Gas Dynamics: Experimental Methods in Rarefied Gas Dynamics. Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Hagena OF, Obert W (1972) Cluster Formation in Expanding Supersonic Jets: Effect of Pressure, Temperature, Nozzle Size, and Test Gas. J Chem Phys 56(5):1793ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Smalley RE, Wharton L, Levy DH (1977) Molecular Optical Spectroscopy with Supersonic Beams and Jets. Acc Chem Res 10:139View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Campargue R (1980) Characteristics of Supersonic Beams Applicable in Collision or Semi-Collision Experiments. J Chim Phys Pcb 77(3):R15Google Scholar
- Toennies JP, Winkelman K (1977) Theoretical studies of highly expanded free jets: Quantum effects. J Chem Phys 66(9):3965ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Campargue R (1984) Progress in Overexpanded Supersonic Jets and Skimmed Molecular Beams in Free-Jet Zones of Silence. J Phys Chem 88:4466–4414View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Scoles G (1988) Atomic and Molecular Beam Methods. Oxford University Press, New York, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Haberland H (1994) Clusters of Atoms and Molecules. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- Gentry WR, Giese CF (1978) Ten microsecond pulsed molecular beam source and a fast ionization detector. Rev Sci Instrum 49:595ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Even U, Bahat D, Cheshnovsky O, Lavie N, Magen Y (1987) Generation and Detection of Intense Cluster Beams. J Phys Chem 91(10):2460View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hillenkamp M, Keinan S, Even U (2003) Condensation limited cooling in supersonic expansions. J Chem Phys 118(19):8699–8705ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Yan B, Claus PFH, Oorschot BGMv, Gerritsen L, Eppink ATJB, Meerakker SYTvd, Parker DH (2013) A new high intensity and short-pulse molecular beam valve. Review of Scientific Instruments 84:023102ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- in Parker pulsed valves (http://ph.parker.com/us/12051/en/pulse-valves-miniature-high-speed-high-vacuum-dispense-valve).
- Irimia D, Dobrikov D, Kortekaas R, Voet H, Ende DAvd, Groen WA, Janssen MH (2009) In situ characterization of a cold and short pulsed molecular beam by femtosecond ion imaging. Rev Sci Instrum 8(11):113303ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Vogels SN, Gao Z, Meerakker SYvd (2015) Optimal beam sources for Stark decelerators in collision experiments: a tutorial review. EPJ Techniques and Instrumentation 2:12View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Even U (2014) Pulsed Supersonic Beams from High Pressure Source: Simulation Results and Experimental Measurements. Advances in Chemistry 2014:636042View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Lorentz. (https://www.integratedsoft.com/products/lorentz).
- Scilab. (http://www.scilab.org/).
- Christen W (2013) Stationary flow conditions in pulsed supersonic beams. J Chem Phys 139:154202ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Even U, Al-Hroub I, Jortner J (2001) Small He clusters with aromatic molecules. J Chem Phys 115(5):2069ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Pentlehner D, Riechers R, Dick B, Slenczka A, Even U, Lavie N, Brown R, Luria K (2009) Rapidly pulsed helium droplet source. Rev Sci Instrum 80:043302ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Mudrich M, Stienkemeier F (2014) Photoionizaton of Pure and Doped Helium Nanodroplets. International Reviews in Physical Chemistry 33(3):301View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- A. I. G. Flórez, D.-S. Ahn, S. Gewinner, W. Schöllkopf and G. v. Helden, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (34) (2015)
- Pedemonte L, Bracco G, Tatarek R (1999) Theoretical and experimental study of He free-jet expansions. Phys Rev A 59(4):3084ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Tafreshi HV, Benedek G, Piseri P, Vinati S, Barborini E, Milani P (2002) A Simple Nozzle Configuration for the Production of Low Divergence Supersonic Cluster Beam by Aerodynamic Focusing. Aerosol Science and Technology 36:593–606View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Semushin S, Malka V (2001) High density gas jet nozzle design for laser target production. Rev Sci Instrum 72(7):2961ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- J. T. McDaniels, R. E. Continetti and D. R. Miller, in Rarefied Gas Dynamics, edited by A. D. Ketsdever (American Institute of Physics, 2003), Vol. 23rd international symposium.
- Schmid K (2009) Dissertation. 2009 Supersonic Micro-Jets And Their Application to Few-Cycle Laser-Driven Electron Acceleration. Ludwig–Maximilians–Universität
- H. Pauli, Atoms, Molecules, and Cluster Beams I. (Springer-Verlag Berlin, 2000)
- Braun J, Day PK, Toennies JP, Wittec G, Neher E (1997) Micrometer-sized nozzles and skimmers for the production of supersonic He atom beams. Rev Sci Instrum 68(8):3001ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Bird G. (http://www.gab.com.au/).
- He X, Feng X, Zhong M, Gou F, Deng S, Zhao Y (2014) The influence of Laval nozzle throat size on supersonic molecular. Mod J Transport 22(2):118View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Bird GA (1994) Molecular Gas Dynamics and the Direct Simulation of Gas Flows. OUP, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Shagam Y, Narevicius E (2013) Kelvin Collision Temperatures in Merged Neutral Beams by Correlation in Phase-Space. J Phys Chem C 117:22454View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Henson AB, Gersten S, Shagam Y, Narevicius J, Narevicius E (2012) Observation of Resonances in Penning Ionization Reactions at Sub-Kelvin Temperatures in Merged Beams. Science 338:234ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Osterwalder A (2015) Merged neutral beams. EPJ Tech Instrum 2:10View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Jankunas J, Jachymski K, Hapka M, Osterwalder A (2015) Observation of orbiting resonances in He((3)S(1)) + NH3 Penning ionization. J Chem Phys 142:164305ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Even U, Jortner J, Noy D, Lavie N, Cossart-Magos C (2000) Cooling of large molecules below 1k and He Clusters. J Chem Phys 112(18):8068ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Stapelfeldt H (2004) Laser Aligned Molecules: Applications in Physics and Chemistry. Physica Scripta T T110:132ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Holmegaard L, Nielsen JH, Nevo I, Stapelfeldt H, Filsinger F, Kupper J, Meijer G (2009) Laser-Induced Alignment and Orientation of Quantum-State-Selected Large Molecules. Phys Rev Letters 102(2):023001ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Bailey AB, Dawbarn R, Busby MR (1976) Effects of Skimmer and Endwall Temperature of Condensed Molecular Beams. Journal of AIAA 14:1View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Gentry WR, Giese CF (1975) High-precision skimmers for supersonic molecular beams. Rev Sci Instrum 46(1):104ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Jordan DC, Barling R, Doak RB (1999) Refractory graphite skimmers for supersonic free-jet, supersonic arc-jet, and plasma discharge applications. Rev Sci Instrum 70(3):1640ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Beam-Dynamics, (http://www.beamdynamicsinc.com/skimmer_specs.htm).
- D. J. Rader, W. M. Trott, J. R. Torczynski, J. N. Castañeda and T. W. Grasser, Sandia National Laboratories SAND2005-6084, http://prod.sandia.gov/techlib/access-control.cgi/2005/056084.pdf (2005).
- Ren Z, Qiu M (2006) DD Li Che. X Wang, X Yanga A double-stage pulsed discharge fluorine atom beam source Rev Sci Instrum 77:016102Google Scholar
- Lu IC, Huang WJ, Chaudhuri C, Chen WK, Lee SH (2007) Development of a stable source of atomic oxygen with a pulsed high-voltage discharge and its application to crossed-beam reactions. Rev Sci Instrum 78(8):083103ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Rennick CJ, Morrison JP, Ortega-Arroyo J, Godin P, Grant ER (2009) Charge, density and electron temperature in a molecular ultracold plasma. Chemical Physics arXiv:0911.0466 [physics.chem-ph]ADSGoogle Scholar
- Woestenenk GR, Thomsen JW, Rijnbach M, Straten P, Niehaus A (2001) Construction of a low velocity metastable helium atomic beam. Rev Sci Instrum 72(10):3842ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Verheien MJ, Beierinck HCW, Renes WA, Verster NF (1984) A double differentially pumped supersonic secondary beam. J Phys, E: Sci Instrum 17:1207ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Halfmann T, Koensgen J, Bergmann K (2000) A source for a high-intensity pulsed beam of metastable helium atoms. Meas Sci Technol 11:1510ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kogelschatz U (2003) Dielectric-Barrier Discharges: Their History, Discharge Physics, and Industrial Applications. Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing 23(1):1View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Massines F, Segur P, Gherardi N, Khamphan C, Ricard A (2003) Physics and chemistry in a glow dielectric barrier discharge at atmospheric pressure. Surf Coat Technol 174:8View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Bednar N, Matovic J, Stojanovic G (2013) Properties of surface dielectric barrier discharge plasma generator for fabrication of nanomaterials. J Electrostatics 71:1068View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kazanskiya NL, Kolpakova VA, Podlipnova VV (2014) Gas discharge devices generating the directed fluxes of off-electrode plasma. Vacuum 101:291ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Luria K, Lavie N, Even U (2009) Dielectric barrier discharge source for supersonic beams. Rev Sci Instrum 80:104102ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Lavert-Ofir E, Shagam Y, Henson AB, Gersten S, Klos J, Zuchowski PS, Narevicius J, Narevicius E (2014) Observation of the isotope effect in sub-kelvin reactions. Nat Chem 6(4):332View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Bergeat A, Onvlee J, Naulin C, Avoird A, Costes M (2015) Quantum dynamical resonances in low-energy CO(j = 0) + He inelastic collisions. Nat Chem 7:349View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Belan M, Ponte SD, Tordella D (2010) Highly underexpanded jets in the presence of a density jump between an ambient gas and a jet. Phys Rev E 82(2):026303ADSView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Amirav A, Even U, Jortner J (1983) FW Birss. DA Ramsay Rotational cooling of aniline in axis-symmetric and planar pulsed supersonic expansions Canad J Phys 61:278Google Scholar
- Even U, Christen W, Luria K, Rademann K (2011) Generation and Propagation of Intense Supersonic Beams. J Phys Chem A 115:7362View ArticleGoogle Scholar