Note: A short-pulse high-intensity molecular beam valve based on a piezoelectric stack actuator

Abeysekera, Chamara; Joalland, Baptiste; Yuanyuan Shi; Kamasah, Alexander; Oldham, James M.; Suits, Arthur G.
November 2014
Review of Scientific Instruments;2014, Vol. 85 Issue 11, p1
Academic Journal
Solenoid and piezoelectric disk valves, which are widely used to generate molecular beam pulses, still suffer from significant restrictions, such as pulse durations typically >50 µs, low repetition rates, and limited gas flows and operational times. Much of this arises owing to the limited forces these actuators can achieve. To overcome these limitations, we have developed a new pulsed valve based on a high-force piezoelectric stack actuator. We show here that operation with pulse durations as low as 20 µs and repetition rates up to 100 Hz can be easily achieved by operating the valve in conjunction with a commercial fast high-voltage switch. We outline our design and demonstrate its performance with molecular beam characterization via velocity map ion imaging.


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