Commercial He mass spectrometer leak detectors usually do not provide sufficient sensitivity to perform accurate measurements of the permeation rate of He through glass. Ultrasensitive dedicated systems have adeguate sensitivity but involve high costs and complex procedures. However, both cryogenics and photomultiplier technology routinely demand this goal. Here, we propose a novel method to increase the sensitivity of commercial devices to easily measure accurate permeation rate. We modified a commercial leak detector by reducing the pumping speed at the inlet of the rotary pump, thus increasing its sensitivity by one order of magnitude. The modified detector was used to measure the leak rate of the permeation of He through the glass walls of a photomultiplier. Further improvements made to decrease the minimum detectable signal were limited by the high ultimate pressure in the spectrometer tube.

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