The vacuum team provides technical expertise and hands on support regarding the design, installation, operation and maintenance of the vacuum systems of the MAX IV laboratory.
Inside the vacuum chambers of the 3.5 GeV linear accelerator (LINAC) and the two storage rings of 1.5 GeV and 3 GeV, electrons travel at nearly the speed of light: at this speed, any collisions with residual air molecules are detrimental to the stability and lifetime of the electron beam, therefore the accelerators must operate under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions to reduce the probability and frequency of such events. The pressure inside the accelerators is therefore kept between 10-8 and 10-11 mbar, that is over 100 billion times lower than the atmospheric pressure.
The vacuum team also provides support for the construction and operation of the beamlines, which deliver the synchrotron light to the experimental stations operated by the end users. Since the beamlines are directly connected to the accelerators, most of their sections must be kept under ultra-high vacuum as well, in order not to spoil the UHV upstream and to prevent the contamination of their optical components.