I am having some issues in my internship - I went to a photovoltaics lab to study upconversion in NaYF4 on solar cells. I am trained as a chemist mostly but know my physics.
So... When I arrive they tell me: go make some NCs. Oh, but we don't have properly equipped chemistry lab. We have this here old fume cupboard, phew, at least some good news. Okay, some lab equipment down the line I am now struggling with my supervisor - he doesn't want to let me install a cold trap for the vacuum - instead he wants me to buy a pump with PTFE coatngs, such as the Laboport by KNF (which is a good pump though).
By now I don't really care if I destroy the pump with all the dirt I will subject it to, but I cannot believe that evaporating 20mL of water, methanol, hexane, ammonia, other bases and degassing high boiling temperature solvents such as ODE and OA on a regular basis will do the pump any good. Also, I am convinced that a wet pump will never reach the level of vacuum a dry pump reaches. I need it to function for at least a half year.
So, my question is: is there a convincing argument to install a cold trap? Is it really necessary or am I worrying too much? Will I need a low vacuum, or is higher better? Will some HF acid gas form during NC synthesis?
Thanks for your time and considerations.