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The coating machine Chewbacca was inaugurated by ESS research head Dmitri Argyriou and detection researcher Carina Höglund. In the background is ESS CEO James Yeck. Photo: Göran Billeson
Meet Linköping’s newest technological wonder: Chewbacca! Named after the grunting giant from Star Wars, the machine that will provide the “super microscope” ESS with neutron detectors has been inaugurated.
The little workshop in Wahlbecks Business Park in Linköping was jam-packed when ESS, European Spallation Source, and LiU celebrated the beginning of production of the thin films that are a crucial component in the gigantic neutron source now being built in Lund. Over the next eight years, over 6,000 square metres of micrometer-thin surface layer of the half-metal boron-10 - one of the few materials with the ability to capture neutrons – will be produced here in the workshop.
When ESS opens in 2022, researchers will be able to examine their samples with 100 times greater resolution than with existing neutron sources. When the neutrons pass through the sample, they are captured by detectors that measure changes in speed and direction – information which provides a picture of the inner structure of the sample.
It was an important milestone for science and also for Linköping Municipality, represented by mayor Helena Balthammar on her fourth day at the post.
“Welcoming new activities to Linköping is one of the best things the Mayor can do!”
The university's Deputy Vice-Chancellor Folke Sjöberg praised thin film physics research team Carina Höglund, Jens Birch and Lars Hultman who, together with Richard Hall-Wilton at ESS, found the solution to a difficult problem when the supply of the gas helium-3 was drastically reduced. Ms Höglund and Linda Robinson are now in charge of on-going development and production at the Linköping unit.
In the crowd we can see Karl-Fredrik Berggren, professor emeritus, who played a big part in the creation of the ESS project, talking here with Carina Höglund and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Folke Sjöberg.
Last updated: 2014-11-03