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Measurement and simulation of the pressure ratio between the two traps of double Penning trap mass spectrometers

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Neidherr, D., Blaum, K., Block, M., Ferrer, R., Herfurth, F., Ketelaer, J., et al. (2008). Measurement and simulation of the pressure ratio between the two traps of double Penning trap mass spectrometers. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 266(19-20), 4556-4559. doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2008.05.102.

Penning traps are ideal tools to perform high-precision mass measurements. For this purpose the cyclotron frequency of the stored charged particles is measured. In case of on-line mass measurements of short-lived nuclides produced at radioactive beam facilities the ions get in general first prepared and cooled by buffer-gas collisions in a preparation trap to reduce their motional amplitudes and are then transported to a precision trap for the cyclotron frequency determination. In modern Penning trap mass spectrometers both traps are placed in the homogeneous region of one superconducting magnet to optimize the transport efficiency. Because the gas pressure inside the precision trap has to be very low in order to minimize the damping of the ion motion caused by collisions with rest gas molecules during the frequency determination, a pumping barrier is installed between both traps. To predict the pressure difference between the two traps in the region of molecular gas flow the motion of each particle can be simulated without consideration of the other particles. Thus, it is possible to calculate the transit probability through a tube of a given geometry. The results are compared with experimentally obtained pressure differences.