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PNNL – Q-Wing:
Designed through a PNNL Facility Staff and Specialty Consultants collaborative effort, the 9,500 sq. ft. Quiet Wing facility is divide into two core sections – support facilities (mechanical, electric plumbing, and research support) and the laboratory core which consist of 8 Ultra-Sensitive instrument labs, which currently houses two FEI Titan TEMs (ETEM-S/TEM), Zeiss Helium Ion Microscope and two OMICRON -UHV SPM’s. The quiet wing facility design provides a setting that allows scientists to make optimal use of these world-class resources. Today’s atomic-level imaging technologies require extreme stability in both the instrument itself and its surrounding environment. The facilities design incorporated several industry setting design standards to protect against potential sources of interference, including mechanical and electrical controls, acoustic noise, floor vibrations, and electromagnetic interference. Reducing these factors to a minimum increases the value of scientific results.
Due to stringent requirements for an ultra-low electromagnetic environment, FMS was engaged to conduct a thorough assessment of the Quite Wings building’s design. An extensive broadband (DC through 3 GHZ) survey was conducted at the site to identify potential EMI threat sources external to the site which included underground utility service and vehicular traffic nearby the building site. A document review and extensive 3-Dimension computer simulation studies were conducted to evaluate EMF emissions from the building’s electrical distribution, mechanical and other systems. Utilizing the computer simulation data, FMS identified multiple areas which were potentially at EMI risk due to adjacency to EMI sources. The simulation studies indicated that EMF levels > 0.1 mG (rms) threshold requirements may be present in many of the Imaging Suites. To mitigate EMI threat concerns, FMS worked alongside the design team to integrate several emission reductions strategies into the design of the facility (source relocation, design modifications, tool planning and electrical room magnetic field shielding scheme) to lower EMF levels to acceptable, non EMI threat levels.
No Laboratory Shielding was Required
The PNNL – EMSL Quite Wing Facility was commissioned in the fall of 2011, and is open for business. All instrument rooms were tested by FMS and the individual instrument manufacturers for compliance. In all instrument suites the acceptable environmental requirements for each instrument space were significantly below the manufactures environmental siting requirements. In fact the FEI team had to increase the sensitivity range of their measurements instruments by an order of magnitude to measure the environmental conditions in the Q-wing.
Over its 20 years, FMS has successfully completed hundreds of EMI projects which included a diverse range of consulting and mitigation services.