A Schlenk Line is a tubular glass apparatus commonly used in chemistry or material laboratory research to carry out experiments under a vacuum and an inert atmosphere (like nitrogen or argon). It is used when samples are sensitive to air/moisture and the vacuum is also often used to remove the last traces of solvent from a sample. A Schlenk Line typically contains a dual glass manifold with multiple ports; the number of ports is configurable. One manifold is connected to an inert gas source, while the other one is connected to a vacuum pump (see Figure 1).
A vessel with the sample is connected to the manifold e.g. by a rubber vacuum tube with each port access controlled by a tap. One backing line of the Schlenk manifold is always kept under vacuum, the other one under inert gas, controlled by valves.
A cold trap of liquid nitrogen or dry ice/acetone is used between the Schlenk Line and the vacuum pump to protect the pump e.g. from the solvents which are present in the experiment. The typical vacuum pressure can go down to 1x10-3 mbar.
The robust RV pumps can be operated in the unique high throughput mode and with inert gas ballast to avoid condensation of vapours and dilute solvents entering the pump. An installed cold trap in the vacuum line, which is often already part of the Schlenk Line, captures most condensable vapours and minimizes vapours entering the vacuum pump. The installation of an EMF filter safely protects the working environment if the pump is not being used inside a fume cupboard.
C-versions should be used if slightly corrosive or aggressive gases/vapours are to be pumped. In addition, a cold trap which is often already part of the Schlenk Line, could further protect the pump.
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