Rotary Vane Pump is an oil-based vacuum pump, that can be used to obtain #prevacuum or even medium vacuum (depending on the system). In this device the rotor and vane(s) are in the housing, that is filled with oil. When the gas enters the chamber through the inlet, it gets trapped in the oil and is transported through the working chamber with the help of the rotor and vane(s) to the outlet, where the gas exits the system. The oil acts as a lubricant and also allows the pumping of some corrosive gases, as it protects the metal to some degree. Although this pump is quite fast and efficient for obtaining pre vacuum, it also may contaminate the vacuum system with oil. Therefore the use of oil traps is highly recommended.
Vacuum can be understood as space from where matter (for example air) has been removed. It naturally exists in outer space but for certain applications, like materials characterization techniques, it needs to be achieved artificially. The desired level of vacuum is obtained with the help of a suitable vacuum pump. For example low vacuum (low quality vacuum with higher pressure) can be generated with a diffusion pump, scroll compressor pump, rotary vane pump, diaphragm pump or a sorption pump. High vacuum (high quality vacuum with very low pressures) however, can be obtained with high vacuum pumps such as the turbomolecular pump, ion pump, titanium sublimation pump and cryopump. The level of vacuum is measured with devices called vacuum gauges (vacuum meters) like the thermocouple gauge, pirani gauge, penning ionization gauge and the quadrupole mass spectrometer (analyzer). The working principle of vacuum pumps and vacuum gauges is explained with 3D animations in the video lecture above.