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Empty Glass Cells
Two Fill Tubes,
The KF25C050 Ø1/2" compression fitting provides compatibility with KF25-flanged vacuum systems.
One Fill Tube,
One Fill Tube with
KF25C050 KF25 Flange to Compression Fitting Adapter
KF25WNC Wing Nut Clamp, KF25CR-F Centering O-Ring Inside
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GCH25-75 Heater and four ER4 cage rods.
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The GCV251, TGC100V, and GCV501 Empty Glass Cells feature a J. Young® Valve that can be closed to maintain a high-vacuum seal.
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These empty glass cells can also be mounted in our VC3C V-Clamp.
These empty borosilicate glass cells can be filled with vapors of specific atomic elements or molecular compounds, each of which has a well-defined absorption spectrum. Cells are available with either one or two fill tubes. A single fill tube is useful when sealing a cell while two fill tubes can be used to maintain constant gas flow. We also offer empty cells with a single fill tube and a J. Young® valve to seal the cell with a high-vacuum, greaseless stopcock (see the image to the right). Fill tubes with a 0.5" outer diameter are compatible with Ø1/2" compression fittings, as shown in the Application Idea image above. Custom reference cells can be manufactured upon request, including different cell lengths, cell diameters, or fill tube configurations. Please contact Tech Support with inquiries.
Each cell is made from borosilicate glass, a rugged material known to resist chipping and cracking, and has high transmission from 350 nm to 2.2 µm. All glass cells on this page can hold a vacuum below 10-7 Torr and withstand pressures up to 5 psi. The post-production cleaning process for these cells consists of an ultrasonic cleaning followed by a methanol rinse. The cell is then connected to a vacuum system and leak tested. The cells are not vacuum sealed when shipped; before using the cell in a vacuum setup, we advise users to follow a similar cleaning process for each cell.
The ends of each cell include either Ø25 mm fused windows, Ø50 mm fused windows, or external GL-32 threading for the GC1 end cap (sold separately below). When using the threaded version, a Ø25 mm or Ø1" flat window, 3 - 5 mm thick, can be mounted inside the end cap, which includes a through hole with a clear aperture of 0.79". See the image below for an illustration of this setup.
These cells are commonly used in spectroscopic applications such as tunable diode laser calibration, stabilization of laser frequencies, and calibration of wavelength meters. Refer to the Application tab for a general overview of use with absorption spectroscopy. We also offer pre-assembled Herriott cells for gas absorption spectroscopy applications, as well as filled and sealed vapor reference cells.
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Schematic of Threaded Glass Cell with Window, Ring Heater, Viton® O-Rings, and End Cap
Mounting & Heating Options
*J. Young® is a registered trademark of GPE Scientific. Viton® is a registered trademark of DuPont.
The reference substance pumped into the glass cell is associated with a unique absorption spectrum that serves as its fingerprint, the contents of a reference cell can be determined via a linear absorption measurement (as depicted by the simplified schematic below). By scanning a tunable diode laser over a wavelength range and detecting light absorption with a photodetector, a series of peaks will be recorded, which is characteristic of the vapor inside the cell. Please note that we also offer pre-filled and sealed vapor reference cells with quartz or borosilicate substrates.
Animated Example of a Vacuum-Sealed System
Creating a Vacuum Seal with a KF Flange
Thorlabs' empty borosilicate cells can be used with our KF-Flanged components and accessories in order to manage gas flow in and out of the cell. The glass cells are terminated with one or two Ø0.50" (Ø12.7 mm) fill tubes that can be inserted into the KF25C050 flange-to-compression-fitting adapter.
To input the cell into a vacuum system:
For an animated representation of the above process, please see the video to the right.
Our Ø25 mm empty borosilicate glass cells are available in three varieties. The GC251 and GC252 cells incorporate one and two fill tubes, respectively. The GCV251 cell has one fill tube and features a J. Young® valve at a 90° bend. The valve incorporates a retractable, greaseless, PTFE stopcock for maintaining a high vacuum. The yellow knob can be tightened to create a seal before the T-junction fill tube or unscrewed completely for cleaning.
Thorlabs also offers a selection of heaters for Ø25 mm glass cells.
Our Ø28 mm empty borosilicate glass cells have threaded ends with no windows. The cells can be closed using two GC1 polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) end caps, which are designed to hold a Ø25 mm or Ø1" flat window (3 - 5 mm thick). Each end cap includes two GC1V Viton® O-rings with an X-shaped cross section (Dash # 211*), which can also be purchased separately.
The threaded glass cells are available in five varieties. The TGC100A has a single fill tube. The TGC100V has one fill tube with a J. Young® valve at a 90° bend. The valve incorporates a retractable, greaseless, PTFE stopcock for maintaining a high vacuum. The yellow knob can be tightened to create a seal before the T-junction fill tube or unscrewed completely for cleaning.
The TGC100B cell features two fill tubes oriented at 90°, while the TGC100C and TGC100D cells each have two parallel fill tubes. The fill tubes on the TGC100D also feature glass stopcocks that can maintain a high vacuum.
The HT10KR ring heater can fit inside the threaded plastic cap; the cap features a slot to allow the ring heater wires to exit. We also offer a variety of other TEC elements, resistive heaters, thermistors, and thermocouples for temperature control.
*Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Dash Number as Defined in Standard AS568: Aerospace Size Standard for O-rings
Our Ø50 mm empty borosilicate glass cells are available in three varieties. The GC501 and GC502 cells incorporate one and two fill tubes, respectively. The GCV501 cell has one fill tube and features a J. Young® valve at a 90° bend. The valve incorporates a retractable, greaseless, PTFE stopcock for maintaining a high vacuum. The yellow knob can be tightened to create a seal before the T-junction in the fill tube or unscrewed completely for cleaning.