Faraday Technology, Inc. a subsidiary of Physical Sciences Inc., provides its government and commercial clients with applied electrochemical engineering technology development from bench-scale through pilot or pre-production levels. In support of its electrical mediation approach, Faraday also markets "first production" rectification equipment and effluent decontamination reactor hardware.
What does Electrochemistry have to do with High Energy Physics?
Particle accelerators, such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) located in Switzerland, use superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities to accelerate charged particles to nearly the speed of light. Collisions of particles at these speeds are used to study the fundamental laws of nature. The SRF cavities are fabricated from niobium and in order to properly function, they must be electrochemically polished prior to final assembly. Conventional electropolishing is conducted in a concentrated mixture of sulfuric and hydrofluoric acids. This conventional electropolishing solution is based on a well-established electrochemical paradigm dating to several patents from the 1930s. The use of hydrofluoric (HF) acid renders the conventional electropolishing process as extremely hazardous to workers and adds substantial CapEx and OpEx to SRF cavity electropolishing.
Vertical bipolar EP configuration
Faraday scientists and engineers have developed a SRF cavity electropolishing process based on low concentration sulfuric acid in water without the addition of HF. According to Alan Rowe of the DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Facility, Faraday's process is
"...no more hazardous or ecologically unfriendly than a household cleaner..."
The FARADAYIC®, HF-FREE ElectroPolishing process offers substantial cost savings for future high energy physics projects such as the International Linear Collider (ILC), a multi-country effort planned for construction in Japan. The ILC Machine Staging report notes that the FARADAYIC® HF-FREE process "...will lead to substantial process cost reduction ... simpler infrastructure, shorter processing time, cheaper solution, cheaper solution waste processing, and a safer process without HF."
Faraday's innovation is covered by issued U.S. and international patents as well as additional U.S. and international patent applications covering the process are pending. Faraday has recently partnered with the DOE's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and KEK, Japan's High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, for transition funding directed towards the industrialization of SRF cavity electropolishing. As noted by Dr. Takayuki Saeki of KEK, the FARADAYIC® HF-FREE EP process
"...is the most promising technology for cavity mass-production and your company [Faraday] is the pioneer..."
Horizontal EP tool installed at Faraday Technology, Inc.
A brief informational video is available at:
A peer reviewed manuscript describing the process is available at:
A DRAFT of an invited chapter in the compendium Advances in Electrochemical Engineering Vol. XVIII (to be published 2018)
PSI Recently received the following research contracts:
"Passive Set-point Thermal Control Skin for Spacecraft" from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
"RMS/mOCT Probe for Periodontal Health Status Assessment" from NIH, National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research
"Optical Probe for Rapid In-situ Survey of Soil Moisture and Carbon" and "Controlled Porosity and Surface Coatings for Advanced Gas Diffusion Layers" from the Department of Energy.
For more PSI contract news, visit www.psicorp.com/news
 A. Rowe, A. Grassellino, T. Hall, M. Inman, S. Snyder, E.J. Taylor "Bipolar EP: Electropolishing without Fluorine in a Water Based Electrolyte" Proc. SRF2031, TUIOC02, Paris, FRANCE (2013).
 FARADAYIC® is a registered service mark of Faraday Technology Inc. (Reg. No. 3,423,999).
 L. Evans, S. Michizono "The International Linear Collider Machine Staging Report 2017" Linear Collider Collaboration October (2017)