A blog on the repair, operation and calibration of surface analysis systems and components including electron spectrometers, sputter ion guns and vacuum related hardware. Click on the Index tab below to see a list of all posts. Visit our website at http://www.rbdinstruments.com
Category Archives: General Optics and Vacuum
General information on repair, maintenance, and operation of both PHI (Physical Electronics) and other manufacturers’ systems and components
The very early PHI 04-500 and 04-548 X-ray sources used a small filament that had couplers to make the connection between the X-ray source and the filament.
04-500 04-548 old style filament
In addition, the couplers were held in place with a notched ceramic that had a special pointed set screw which pressed into a copper wire that in turn made the connection to the electrical feedthrough on the source.
This connection scheme worked well enough as long as you set the filaments properly and did not ramp the current up too quickly. Even then, the filaments were prone to warping out of shape over time. Also the couplers could loosen up and then the filaments would short out.
PHI’s solution was to redesign the filament where the filaments were brazed into a ceramic base instead of using couplers. This resulted in a very stable filament base where the filaments can’t move at all and so they no longer warped out of position (unless you ran the filament current up too quickly).
Recently I updated an older 04-500 X-ray source from the old style to the new style filaments. You can see the before and after in the pictures below.
Old Style 04-500 X-ray source
Updated 04-500 X-ray source
This update will result in more stable X-ray source operation and extended filament lifetime.
The new style filaments cost more than the old style filaments by quite a bit. But factoring in the improved performance, longer lifetime and reduced downtime it may be worth the additional cost.
If you have an old style source please keep this filament conversion in mind the next time you need filaments or a complete source rebuild.
The Hydraulic Quick Couplings (quick connect) used on PHI X-ray sources are Parker type SH2-62.
These couplers are used to connect the heat exchanger to the X-ray source in order to keep the anode from overheating. Over time the seals in the female coupler can fail from wear or simply drying out. When that happens you will get a steady drip of water from the coupler (not good as if water leaks into the source it will arc) .
This post will explain how to find and replace the seals in the female coupler. The male coupler is non serviceable (but also usually does not fail). Some pictures of the fitting and seals are at the bottom of this post.
There are two parts to the seal mechanism.
A Teflon seal retainer
A Nitrile O-ring seal
You can find these parts at any Parker distributor (Google Parker quick coupling) or by searching for the part numbers.
The Teflon seal retainer is PN MS28774-015
The Nitrile O-ring is PN 2-015 N1470-70
If you search for the part numbers you will find lots of places that carry these parts. They are very inexpensive. In fact, the next time you order parts from RBD for your PHI X-ray source just ask and we will throw some in with your order at no charge.
Once you have the parts, here is how you install them:
Use a dental pick and dig out the Teflon spacer and O-ring
Install the new O-ring. You can use the dental pick to guide it into the channel. Note that the O-ring needs to be towards the bottom of the coupler
Install the new Teflon spacer using the dental pick to guide it into the channel. Note that it needs to be installed towards the top of the coupler. Also, for the Teflon spacers that I purchased for this blog post, they have a slit in them which is probably supposed to make it easier to install. However, I think it would have been easier with a solid spacer like the old one I pulled out. It was a little bit tricky but by using a screw driver I was able to flatten the slit so that it finally snapped down into the channel. You should plan on losing one or two of the Teflon spacers as you refine you technique.
Finally, here is a link to a the Parker Hydraulic Quick connect catalog – 3800-B_Hydraulic.
This post will show how to replace the 10-610 monochromator X-ray source anode and filaments. The 10-610 monochromator X-ray source is used in conjunction with the 10-410 or 10-420 monochromator. When replacing the anode you should also replace both filaments and the deionizer cartridge (located in the 16-0XX heat exchanger).
Once the anode and filaments have been replaced the vacuum chamber needs to be baked out and the new filament and anode need to be out gassed and conditioned. The monochromator may also need to be adjusted slightly to optimize the counts with the new anode and filaments.
Please read the entire procedure first, then watch the picture slideshow at the bottom of the post.
Anode replacement procedure
Vent the chamber.
Remove the water lines from the source.
Remove the safety cover from the source (3 screws).
Remove the high voltage cable
Remove the sixteen 5/16” bolts on the 6” flange and remove 10-610 mono source from the monochromator.
Next, remove the screw that connects the ground wire to the manifold.
Remove the Teflon block from the source base (2 spline cap head screws).
Remove the Teflon block from the source base. Twist it as you slide it off the anode.
Loosen the nut on the high voltage connector (3/4” open end wrench) and remove the high voltage connector.
Remove the silicone rubber insulator and spring. The spring makes electrical contact between the high voltage connector and the anode flange.
Remove the three spline cap head screws that hold the base to the flange and remove base from the flange. Note, this is optional as the base can stay on for bake out.
Remove the two screws that hold the filament cover on and remove the filament cover.
Remove the two screws that hold the filament cover support on and remove the filament cover support. Note the position of the covers as you take them out as they need to go back the same way.
Remove the 6 cap head screws that hold the anode to the base and lift the old anode out of the source housing.
Separate the old anode from the anode flange.
Install a new O-ring on the new anode bottom and slide the anode flange into the new anode. There are 4 O-rings in the anode kit. The anode flange forces the cooling water to the tip of the anode.
Use a new copper gasket and mount the new anode onto the anode flange. Use care as you slide the anode in not to touch the sides of the anode housing (like the old game Operation). The anode surface is coated with a thin layer of aluminum on a copper substrate. Any contact with the top of the anode surface can cause little dents in the anode surface that can cause arc points. Tighten the 6 cap head screws very lightly as the anode will need to be adjusted.
Using plastic tweezers or needle nose pliers, carefully rotate the anode until it is parallel to the filament housing. The idea is that the anode should be parallel to the anode housing and also centered so that there is a maximum and equal distance between the anode and the housing in order to prevent arcing.
Once the anode is parallel, tighten the six cap head screws on the base all the way down.
center the anode
Next, if necessary loosen the 4 screws on the copper pedestal and move it to center the anode for maximum distance between the anode and the filament housing. If available, you can use the anode alignment tool to help center the anode and then tighten the 4 screws on the base of the copper pedestal.
anode alignment tool
The anode surface should be the same level as the fence that is between the filaments and the anode. If not loosen the spline head cap screw that secures the filament housing to the copper pedestal. You can use the anode alignment tool, a straight edge or just eye ball it.
Filament replacement procedure
The filaments are coated with Yttrium so that they can provide sufficient electrons for emission at a lower filament operating current. Be careful when handling the filaments so that you do not knock off any of the coating on the filaments.
Loosen the filament clamp screws on the large 7mm (diffused) area filament and remove the old filament. Note that the large 7mm filament is closest to the filament connector and wires.
Carefully insert the new filament into the filament clamps and lightly tighten them. The filament should be centered with respect to the anode and the top of the filament should be even with the top of the filament cavity (level with the anode guard). It should also be parallel to the anode guard and centered in the filament cavity. If not, remove the filament and carefully bend the legs as needed. Once the filament height and centering is correct, firmly tighten the filament clamp screws.
Repeat this procedure for the small 2mm (focused) filament.
Install the filament cover base and cover. Note that the little cut out goes over the 2mm filament.
Condition the anode and filaments procedure
Once the new anode and filaments have been installed onto the 10-610 monochromator X-ray source, the source needs to be baked out and then outgassed and conditioned.
First, bake out the system.
Next, outgas the filaments
Finally, condition the anode
Bake out the system
Follow the bake out procedure in the PHI manual or search for the RBD Techspot blog- Bake-out procedure to improve base vacuum.
The O-rings on the mono source, HV connector and silicone rubber insulator and Teflon block are all removed from the 10-610 mono source before bake out. After bake out, use a little bit of vacuum grease on the O-rings to help provide a tight water seal when the Teflon block is replaced.
Replace the deionizer cartridge in the 16-0XX heat exchanger. PHI recommends that the deionizer cartridge be replaced each time the anode is replaced to help make sure that the water does not react with the anode.
Outgas the filaments
Prior to outgassing the filaments the system should have been baked out and the mono source housing and water lines reassembled. The deionizer cartridge should also have been replaced. The system should be cool and the base pressure in the low 10-9 to low 10-10 Torr range.
The filaments need to be initially outgassed slowly in order to prevent warping and also to set them.
Select the Outgas/ACT mode on the X-ray source controller.
Select the 2mm focused filament and ramp the current up to 5 amps in increments of .5 amps over a period of 2 to 5 minutes. Wait for the outgassing to subside somewhat as indicated by the ion gauge.
Set the 2mm focused filament current to zero amps and then repeat the procedure with the 7mm diffused filament. Once up to 5 amps, let the 7mm diffused filament sit there for 4 to 8 hours or until the base vacuum returns to the low 10-9 Torr range. Then set the filament current to zero and turn off the Outgas/ACT mode on the X-ray source controller.
Degas the Anode
Set the beam voltage to 500V and turn it on.
On the X-ray source controller, select the Outgas/ACT mode
Select the 2mm focused filament (Mg filament on a 32-095/6)
Slowly increase the amps to 3.5 and then monitor the anode current (emission current) meter.
VERY SLOWY increase the filament current until you get 1mA of emission current. Do not exceed 5 amps of filament current. Do not exceed 2mA of emission current.
Monitor the ion gauge vacuum reading and wait until the outgassing comes back down then slowly increase the beam voltage to 1 kV. If necessary reduce the filament current to keep the emission below 2mA.
In steps of 500V bring the high voltage up to 10kV while adjusting the filament current as needed to keep the emission current below 2mA. Do this over a period of 30 minutes to several hours, depending on how much the anode outgasses. For best results keep the vacuum in the chamber in the low 10-9 Torr range. The higher the pressure from outgassing, the more likely an arc will occur.
Once the anode has been outgassed to 10kV, turn the filament current to zero and set the high voltage to zero. Then switch to the other filament and repeat the procedure.
Condition the high voltage
Make sure that the Out/Act button is OFF and that the filament current is set to zero on both filaments.
SLOWLY bring the high voltage up to 10kV while monitoring the vacuum chamber ion gauge.
Step the high voltage up increments of 500V until you get to 16.5kV. When you see some signs of outgassing (the pressure in the vacuum chamber will come up) then back down the high voltage a little bit and wait until the vacuum recovers.
Once you are able to get to 16.5 kV with no arcing, let the anode sit there for at least 20 minutes.
The X-ray source is now ready for normal operation. For best results, start at a low power and kV such as 100 watts and 10kV. You can step up both the power and the kV over a period of a few hours based on how much outgassing you see when operating in this mode. Once you are up to full power of 300 watts and 15kv the X-ray source can be brought up to full power quickly.
Note that the maximum power that should be applied to the 2mm focused filament is 350 watts and the maximum power that should be applied to the 7mm diffused filament is 600 watts. Personally I do not recommend more than 300 watts on either anode. If you can get by with a lower wattage (such as 250) then both the filaments and anode will last longer.
It is also recommended that you inspect the 10-610 mono anode any time you vent your chamber for maintenance, or at least once a year. If you see indications of melting in the center of the anode you should replace the anode. Otherwise it will eventually develop a water leak and cause potentially catastrophic damage to system components and substantial downtime.