Diamond Light Source uses motion control system for accuracy

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Diamond Light Source is using a 2m travel, high-vacuum compatible ceramic motor system, supplied by Heason Technology, for the I12 JEEP (Joint Engineering, Environmental and Processing) beamline. Capable of positioning within a 50nm resolution over the full travel range and with speeds up to 80mm per second, the linear motor is used in a specially built cryo-cooled Laué monochromator, helping to deliver high energy X-rays for a variety of exciting scientific experiments.

The I12 beamline, which is currently being commissioned, is somewhat different in concept to other beamlines at the UK's national synchrotron facility in that it has two in-line experimental hutches rather than a single area where samples are analysed. The first hutch (EH1) is in the main Diamond Experimental Hall, while the second hutch (EH2) is in a large purpose-built external building. The widely adjustable beam energy range (from 50 keV to 150 keV), which is due to the Laué monochromator, allows a very broad range of applications including imaging and tomography, X-ray diffraction and small angle X-ray scattering.

For diffraction experiments, the crystals can be adjusted to use different diffraction planes, providing a narrower bandwidth and better energy resolution. The Heason supplied ceramic motor system provides the full  translation of the crystal along the beam over a 2m travel range, positioning the stack of equipment that is used to bend the second crystal to achieve the desired characteristics. A second pair of Heason supplied ceramic motors also translates the crystal and bending stack orthogonally across the beam with a 200mm travel range. One of the primary reasons for selecting ceramic motor technology for this application is the motors' inherent stability - with power removed the motor locks and holds its position completely with no drift, removing a potential vibration source which is critical to the monochromator's performance.