Basic Vacuum Technology


8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Thursday, May 6-9, 2024, Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel, Albuquerque, NM

Course Objectives

  • Understand vacuum fundamentals essential to operating, maintaining, designing, or  using vacuum systems.
  • Know the working principles and limitations of pumps, gauges, and other vacuum system components.
  • Understand the procedures for operating and performing preventive maintenance on vacuum systems, including analyzing and troubleshooting malfunctioning vacuum systems and leak detection.
  • Learn the design concepts involved in matching equipment and instrumentation to applications.

Course Description

This extensive four day course provides a working knowledge of vacuum equipment and the technology associated with its use. It includes enough theory to provide a basis for the material covered; however, the major emphasis is on practical applications. The working principles of the pumps and gauges used on vacuum systems are discussed, followed by a description of the characteristics of pumps and gauges in current use. Characteristics required of components such as valves, connecting lines, flanges, and seals that connect pumps to process chambers are described next, especially with regard to the application (i.e., medium-, high-, or ultrahigh vacuum conditions). The materials normally used for vacuum systems are discussed, especially with regard to handling, fabrication, and cleaning procedures. Procedures for system operation, preventive maintenance, and leak detection are covered with emphasis on practical applications. In addition, techniques used to troubleshoot systems operating at less than optimum levels are provided. System design concepts for matching equipment and instrumentation to the intended application are also covered.

Who Should Attend?

Those entering the field of vacuum technology or fields using vacuum technology who need  a detailed working knowledge of vacuum equipment and practice will benefit from this comprehensive introduction. Those interested in a review of vacuum basics will also find this course valuable.

Instructors:  Allen Riddle, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Steven Larson, Sandia National Laboratories

Allen Riddle is a senior engineer at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with 15 years experience in and around vacuum systems.  He serves as the vacuum system manager of 7 unique pumping systems and over 20 vessels at NIF and currently leads the facility design team.  Previous experiences include 5 years at Sandia National Laboratory at the Z-facility and running the Thermal Vacuum Lab which conducted multi-week satellite tests and operated several bakeout chambers.  Graduated with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2001 from Brigham Young University.

Steven Larson is currently a senior member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, where he works in the thin film, coatings and packaging group. His work consists of research and development on physical vapor deposition (PVD) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) techniques. Steven is currently working on composite magnetic thin films, PVD and CVD tribological films, epitaxial sputtering of magneto optical materials, advanced parylene coating techniques, and basic vacuum research through outgassing measurements based on temperature programmed desorption techniques. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia where he presented and published several studies on plasmonics, magnetic materials, and photocatalysis fabricated via combinatorial glancing angle deposition.

Course Materials

Course Notes

Cost: $1,895.00
Full Time University Student (Does not include National Lab interns):  $300 – not accepting student registrations at this point – Call David Adams