At SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Stanford, USA, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is currently upgraded to LCLS-II-HE, which will operate at higher electron beam energy providing even more accurate X-ray snapshots of atoms and molecules at work thus revealing fundamental processes in materials, technology and bio-molecules.
Superconducting RF technology (SRF) is at the heart of this new linear accelerator. Between 2015 and 2018, RI Research Instruments already produced half of the 420 SRF cavities required for the beam acceleration. The production contract covered manufacturing and surface preparation of the 9-cell 1.3 GHz cavities including electron beam welding, high precision machining, but also electropolishing, high pressure rinsing, clean room assembly, and nitrogen doping treatment.
For the high-energy upgrade (HE) RI received an order for all additional 168 cavities, which will be shipped by RI “ready for cold RF testing”. These cavities will be produced using an improved nitrogen doping process allowing for operation at even higher acceleration gradients and lower energy losses. The new doping recipe is a result of joint R&D by several research laboratories over the past years. The improvements achieved with this new recipe were demonstrated by 10 cavities already delivered by RI in 2020.
This new high-volume order ensures continuous workload for our SRF cavity production facilities, our engineers and manufacturing specialists for the next two years. Our planned production rate is 10 cavities per month on average. In parallel to the LCLS-II-HE cavities, RI will also be producing SRF cavities for various other customers.
The image shows an SRF cavity for the LCLS-II project at final assembly and particle control in the clean room prior shipment to SLAC.