This page serves to provide an overview of the Vacuum Principles and Applications Laboratory (VPAL-A) as was manufactured and marketed by The Science Source of Waldoboro, Maine. The original manual is available elsewhere on this page.

Above: The base kit consisted of a vacuum stand with exhaust isolation bellows valve, Bourdon gauge, inlet/vent port and MKS 925 microPirani gauge. The plasic plastic bell jar and base plate with electrical feedthoughs is mounted on the stand. To the left is a glass chamber with a simple cold cathode electron source and phosphor screen. Connected to the microPirani gauge is an interface cable that has an RS232 connector and Vernier differential voltage sensor. The pump is a Robinair 2-stage refrigeration service pump.

Above: The sputtering add-on consisted of a current limited DC high voltage power supply (adapted neon sign transformer) with simple fixturing to demonstrate sputter deposition.

Other Accessories and VPAL-A Manual

A number of smaller accessories were created for the VPAL-A. These included a pumpable Crookes radiometer, Hittorf (detour) tube, a hot wire device for investigating mean free path and a simple thermal evaporation chamber. DIY information on all of these will be made available. See the main education page for details and updates.

The VPAL-A Manual includes set up and all published exercises that could be accomplished with the base VPAL-A system.

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