Allectra part of the team to realize the operation of the Pilatus 12M in vacuum at Diamond Light Source

August 2014: Allectra, with its competence in vacuum feedthrough technology, worked with DECTRIS’ engineering partner ADS to realize the operation of the PILATUS 12M in vacuum at Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron science facility.

With more than 12 million pixels on an active area of 0.34m2, the PILATUS 12M detector covers a 2Θ range of ±100° and will operate in vacuum at 10-6 mbar. This specific solution, built by DECTRIS in close collaboration with the I23 team at Diamond Light Source, represents a breakthrough in long-wavelength macromolecular crystallography.

This customized single-photon-counting X-ray detector features operation in vacuum, a specific module geometry and a special calibration for low-energy X-ray energies.

ADS-Engineering, the engineering partner of DECTRIS chose Allectra for the manufacturing of the vacuum plate which was to house the 156 Allectra Sub-D feedthroughs. Based on the size of the plate and to reduce weight and cost, Allectra recommended the use of separate aluminium plates instead of the proposed one for the main door.

This reduces the risk for the customer as the plates can be repaired individually in case of any problems. ADS-Engineering designed the plate with finally four mounted flanges and verified the deformation by FEM. DECTRIS delivered an additional plate to the customer to enable the change of one of the four plates whenever it is necessary, which minimises potential down-time.

Dr. Bernhard Luckscheiter, CEO of Allectra says, “We were very happy to work on this project. We have found through our experience of working on custom projects that when we are involved with design at an early stage, we have the opportunity to present a specialist solution that will ultimately meet the customer’s requirements, particularly when the overall solution is complex, as it was in this case.”

Allectra manufactured and tested the plates and assembled them to the aluminium door which was leak-checked and assembled to the back plate.

Armin Wagner, Principal Beamline Scientist for Diamond’s I23 beamline, says. “Long-term experience with PILATUS detectors at Diamond, their high data quality and huge scientific success, encouraged us to start the ambitious in-vacuum low-energy PILATUS 12M development project with DECTRIS. Most important for realizing a complex beamline project, DECTRIS proved to be a very competent and reliable partner and stayed in schedule.”

Allectra has designed custom assemblies for other customers, including 18 custom ISO-F 200 flanges with 8 x 37 sub-d feedthroughs (over 5,000 pins) for a research institute in Italy, eventually to be installed at CERN and custom rectangular flanges with a combination of Sub-D, 7 pin 12KV MS and 2 X SHV 20KV feedthroughs for the Semi-Conductor industry.