Edwards’ Turbomolecular Pumps Improve Reliability in the Laboratory

11.03.2011

Vacuum technology company Edwards has won a contract to supply Quorum Technologies with reliable EXT75DX turbomolecular vacuum pumps for cryogenic preparation chambers used in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) applications.

Edwards’ Turbomolecular Pumps Improve Reliability in the Laboratory

Quorum (Image: Edwards)

Cryogenic preparation chambers rapidly freeze and transfer specimens. Their use with SEMs is fast becoming the method of choice for observing the internal microstructures of biological materials because they allow specimens to be examined in their ‘natural’ fully-hydrated state. As a result, scientists can gain valuable information from materials with different dispersion phases, such as oils, polymers, fats and food stuffs.

Quorum was looking to increase the reliability of its chambers and approached Edwards to provide oil-free pumps with minimal vibration and maintenance requirements.

Quorum’s PP3000T cryogenic preparation chamber is turbomolecular pumped and includes tools for cold fracturing, controlled sublimation and specimen coating. The specimen can then be transferred onto a highly stable SEM cold stage for observation. It is a highly automated, easy to use, column-mounted, gas-cooled cryo preparation system suitable for most makes and models of SEM, FE-SEM and FIB/SEM.

Edwards recommended its compact EXT75DX turbomolecular vacuum pump which 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 x109 mbar.

“Sample analysis for pharma and food development is a multi-million pound business and there is an ever increasing need for 100% reliability and minimum process downtime,” says Mike Wombwell, sales and marketing director, Quorum Technologies. “Providing our clients with the best technology for microstructure analysis is key to our business. To do this we continually look for ways to improve our products and this includes reviewing the equipment used at every stage of the cryogenic process.”

“We’re delighted to win this contract with Quorum,” says Paul Bolton, key account manager, Edwards. “We worked closely with them to fully understand their requirements and have recommended a pump that will provide high performance and is easy to integrate in to their system.”

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