A getter (74) is situated in an auxiliary compartment (72) of a hollow structure (40-46 and 76) having a larger main compartment (70). The auxiliary compartment is situated outside the main compartment and is connected to the main compartment so that the two compartments reach largely the same steady-state compartment pressure. The getter is activated by directing light energy locally through part of the hollow structure and onto the getter. The light energy is typically furnished by a laser beam (60). The getter, typically of the non-evaporable type, is usually inserted as a single piece of gettering material into the auxiliary compartment. The getter normally can be activated/re-activated multiple times in this manner, typically during sealing of different parts of the structure together.
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