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Neutron Detection

Specially sealed vacuum components used for signal transfer. The Technical University of Munich is one of the first three universities of excellence in Germany. It has 15 faculties, integrative Research Centers perform cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. These include the Institute for Hadronic Structure and Fundamental Symmetries and the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Research Neutron Source (FRM II). Both institutions are working together with the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in a joint project.VACOM developed and supplied special flanges with customized geometry for vacuum and overpressure for this project. Two special multipin feedthroughs with 4x 18 contacts each were installed in a very small area.The special flanges are used in a detector called CHARM. It is used to detect scattered thermal neutrons at the powder diffractometer ERWiN, which is being rebuilt at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Center (FRM II) in Garching.

The CHARM detector is operated with a gas mixture of 3helium and tetrafluoromethane (CF4) at a filling pressure of 8 bar (116.03psi). With the supplied special flanges, the electrical signals are led from the pressure vessel to the outside to the signal processing electronics.The challenges in the realization were the pressure differences occurring in the application. On the one hand, an ultra high vacuum < 10-12 mbar (7,5 ⋅ 10-13Torr) and, on the other, an overpressure of 10 bar (145.04psi); the test pressure is as high as 15 bar (217.56psi). In addition, an extremely demanding sealing surface was required for a special seal. Last but not least, the ultra fine cleaning and subsequent cleanroom packaging had to be carried out without damaging the contacts and sealing surface.

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