High-Voltage Feedthroughs in UHVs

High-voltage electrical feed-throughs are used extensively in high vacuum and UHV settings, allowing the transmission of high voltages both into and out of hermetically sealed chambers without reaching a point of possible pressure loss caused by the entry of atmospheric gases.

This article discusses Allectra’s high-voltage feed-throughs, together with their significance and uses.

HIgh voltage feed-through equipment

Significance of High-Voltage Feedthroughs

High-vacuum settings range from about 10−5 to 10−9 mbar. To realize this pressure system, it is essential to empty the chamber of all but residual gaseous molecules. A range of pumps is needed to efficiently empty the chamber since collisions between these molecules and the walls of the vacuum chamber control the pressure system.

A standard vacuum pump is used to exhaust the bulk of the gases. When the high vacuum process starts, however, a second pump is needed to remove residual molecules once they enter the pump aperture.

The conditions of an ultra-high vacuum (UHV) are much more drastic compared to the above and extend in almost completely dry conditions above a pressure of 10−9 mbar. This pressure range is on an order of trillionths of the atmosphere. Hydrogen (H2) mainly remains in UHV conditions while water molecules remain in high-vacuum processes. This is due to the lightness of the gas and high mobility.

To realize high purity vacuum conditions of more than 10−9 mbar, specialized UHV pumps and bakeout are necessary.

The backing of several pumps and hermetically sealed processing chambers is needed to realize the high-vacuum and UHV conditions since it is an energy-intensive process. Voltage feed-throughs are essential to modify process conditions in real-time without sacrificing the integrity of the vacuum.

Based on the chamber architecture and application requirements, the designs of high-voltage feed-throughs can differ considerably.

Allectra’s Range of Voltage Feedthroughs

Allectra can offer a wide range of voltage feed-throughs for high-vacuum and UHV processing, such as:

  • Coaxial, Safe High Voltage (SHV) Feedthroughs offer the choice of either exposed or recessed ceramic on the vacuum side and an option of 5 or 6 kV signals. The SHV20 is rated for 20 kV and the SVH10 is rated for 10 kV.
  • MIL-C-5015-compliant MS Circular Socket high-voltage feed-throughs including multiway pins, provided with 7.5, 10, 23, or 40 A per pin.
  • Power Glove high-voltage feed-throughs, which have air-side cables and sockets. There are many design options available for Allectra’s Power Glove feed-throughs, with voltage ranges of 5, 10, 20, and 40 kV. Options for several pins and different flange types are available, which improve the product’s applicability.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Allectra Limited.

For more information on this source, please visit Allectra.

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