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Newsletter January 2019
“We have used tables from Minus K and found them to be far superior to tables we have previously tried. We are especially impressed with the isolation performance in the X-Y plane...
More customer comments...
1.Floor Vibration Isolation | FP-1 Platform + Video

2.Vacuum Chamber Vibration Isolation

3.Optical-Laser Vibration Isolation + video

4.Cryostat Vibration Isolation
5. Vibration News & Articles
6. See us at Photonics West 2019, 2/5-7, Booth #5073

7. 300 leading universities and private and government laboratories
in 51 countries use Minus K technology

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FP-1 Floor Platforms for SEMs, TEMs, STEMs and other heavy Microscopes

The FP-1 consists of a large platform, two to four Minus K® SM-1 negative-stiffness vibration isolators, outriggers which connect the platform to the isolators, isolator floor and jack screw plates which help to spread the load on the floor and ballast weights. The FP-1 platform is a heavy steel plate which typically weighs nearly as much as the microscope itself. One reason for this design is to lower the overall system center of gravity to the level of the isolator tilt mechanism, so as to avoid horizontal-tilt coupling, which occurs when horizontal vibrations cause both a horizontal and tilting response of the column. With the system CG at the level of the isolator tilt mechanism, the vibrations are decoupled and better isolation control is achieved. Another reason for the massive platform is that the large total mass of the system helps to diminish any effects from stiff cables and hoses connected to the microscope.

FP-1 Video

More images...

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Vacuum Chamber Vibration Isolation

Minus K vibration isolation systems can be made vacuum compatible so they can be used right inside vacuum chambers. In addition to their superior vibration isolation performance, this offers other advantages of much lower payload weights, more compact systems, and eliminates problems associated with vacuum chamber feed-throughs. See below example with NASA/JPL SIM Interferometer Testbed Spectral Calibration Development Unit (SCDU).

Our vibration isolation systems have also been used to support entire vacuum chambers. This offers the advantages of more standard designs and lower costs in some cases.

Three 1350 lb capacity Vacuum Minus K SM-1s for the
SCDU in JPL's testbed configuration.

Minus K BM-1 Vacuum Isolation

Modifications for to the isolators based on your application requirements could include:
• Use of Stainless Hardware
• Removal of Paint and/or Powder Coating
• Removal of Anodizing
• Replacement of Nylon or Plastic Parts
• Electroless Nickel on Steel Parts
• Venting Blind Holes
• Use of Vacuum Grease for Low Outgassing
• Bare Aluminum
• We'll need to provide custom pricing for vacuum applications. The price is typically 3 times the standard units for vacuum compatible (internal chamber) placement.

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Optical-Laser Systems Vibration Isolation:

Video of Laser Interferometer scanning piston pins on the
production line supprted by a Minus K BM-10

Profiler on Minus K BM-8 BM-8
Inverted Microscope on Minus K BM-8

Laser and optical systems, whether used in an academic laboratory or in an industrial environment, are very susceptible to vibrations from the environment. These instruments almost always need vibration isolation. Traditionally, large air tables have been the systems prefered for optical systems. This is no longer the case. Minus K isolators provide 10-100 times the performance of air tables, depending on the vibration frequency. They don't need air or electricity and are compact and easy to move around. Some users need the array of threaded holes that breadboards provide. In that case it is quite easy to put a breadboard on top of one of our antivibration isolators. It is also common to put a larger breadboard across two or more of our isolators.

Laser based interferometers are exquisitely sensitive devices that are capable of resolving nanometer scale motions/features. They often have very long mechanical paths which makes them even more sensitive to vibrations. The sophisticated modern ellipsometry techniques that allow this high performance rely on low noise to be able to detect fringe movement. Properly isolating an interferometer will allow it to provide the highest possible resolution.

Optical profilers have similar sensitivity to vibrations. Keeping external vibrations from the typically long optical path yields improved sensitivity and more reliable measurements. It is no longer necessary to do the most sensitive measurements at all hours of the night.

Optical component systems are often quite complex. The long optical paths can lead to angular magnification of vibrations. Typically used optical air tables can make the problems worse since they have a resonant frequency that often matches that of floor vibrations. Our 1/2 Hz isolators provide isolation in these environments when air tables simply cannot.

Full page with added images...

Related article regarding laser interferometry isolation...

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Cryostat Vibration Isolation:

Cryostat on three Minus K CM-1s & pedestals
Arizona State Cryostat on three Minus K BM-1s

Cryostats often contain very sensitive instrumentation. They come in many different shapes, sizes and weights. Whether you are doing low temperature AFM, NMR or something else, we have several options available.

If your lab is on an upper floor of a building, air isolators may not be able to provide you enough isolation to get rid of building modes. In the worst case, the building might have a low resonant frequency close to that of the air tables. If this is the case, you can have amplification of the buildings vibrations. Obviously, this is not ideal. Our 1/2 Hz isolators will isolate at these low frequencies and will give your cryostat the best possible vibration isolation.

Our isolators can be mounted on a set of pedestals as shown in the image to optimize our interface. Of course, your cryostat may not have mounting brackets such as these shown. We can work with you to determine the best way to incorporate our isolators into your system. Minus K can design bracketry for you, or work with you and advise on the best way to build and incorporate them.

Full article...

Related article featuring Dewar cryostat...

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Nanoindentation & Micro Hardness Testing
Vibration Isolation

Examples of Platforms used with Nanoindenters:

MTS Nano Indenter
on a Minus K BA-1
Micro Materials Nano Indenter
on a Minus K BM-1
Agilent Nano Indenter
on a Minus K BM-8

Micro Hardness Testers and Nano Indenters can be quite sensitive to vibrations that increase the noise floor of critical measurements. The method of actually doing the measurements varies by manufacturer, but the fundamental mechanical path is similar. In all cases, the instruments need to be as still as possible to get the best performance. Some of the instruments are most sensitive to the vertical axes while others are more sensitive to the horizontal.

Minus K Technology isolators are unique in that they can deliver 0.5 Hz performance both vertically and horizontally. Most other isolators delivery their best performance vertically (which is typically the most important axis to isolate) and lower performance horizontally. While this is ok for some applications, there are those, such as some micro hardness testers that are most sensitive horizontally. For those instruments, our isolators offer by far the best isolation available.

If you have no choice but to place on of these instruments on the upper floor of a building, our isolators can make it possible to get the best performance possible. We have provided isolation solutions for many happy customers facing this very problem.

Related page...


Announcing the 2019 Minus K Technology Educational Giveaway
for U.S. Colleges and Universities

Vibration News & Articles

 Negative-Stiffness Vibration Isolation at the South Pole

  Neuronal Research into Animal Learning, Memory Neuronal Research, Vibration Isolation Problem & Solution

 Nano-Research into Superionic Solid Electrolytes for Next-Generation Lithium Batteries
Battery Power Magazine Online, July 2017 

 Negative-Stiffness Vibration Isolation For The Sharpest Micro-World Images
Apogee Photo Magazine, August 2017 

 Negative-Stiffness Vibration Isolation Provides Improved Performance For Cleanroom Applications
Commercial Micro Manufacturing International , August 2016 
 Minus K offers several standard and custom vibration isolation products
- All Media, June 2016
  Ultra-Low Frequency Vibration Isolation Stabilizes Scanning Tunneling Microscopy
- R&D Magazine, June 2016

      More Articles & News...


Previous Features:

Ultra-Low Frequency Vibration Isolation Stabilizes Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

Neuronal Research into Animal Learning, Memory Neuronal Research,
Vibration Isolation Problem & Solution

Sunken Treasure Surrounding The Coldest Cubic Meter In The Universe
Supported by Minus K Vibration Isolators

Lithium Batteries: Superionic Solid Electrolytes for Next-Generation

Spacecraft Vibration Isolation On the Ground

Behavior of a Single Molecule-UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute

Cleanroom Precision Vibration Isolation

Negative-stiffness vibration isolation is utilized to provide ultra-stability for multi-disciplined, nano-level research at UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute.

NASA/JWST Update: Custom James Webb Space Telescope Vibration Isolators Working Well

Audiophile Interests: The Doehmann Helix 1 Turntable

2017 Winners | Minus K Technology Educational Giveaway to U.S. Colleges and Universities

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Vibration Isolation News | What's Here for You:
With users at more than 300 leading universities and private and government laboratories in 51 countries, Vibration Isolation News is designed to keep our customers and friends up to date on the latest products and applications designed to facilitate better measurements and improved nanomanufacturing. We are an OEM supplier to leading manufacturers of scanning probe microscopes, micro-hardness testers and other sensitive instruments.

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The MK52

NASA Telescope Project

How Our Isolators Work

Spacecraft Vibration Isolation On the Ground

Minus K Technology Inc., Vibration Isolation Systems
460 Hindry Ave., Unit C | Inglewood, CA 90301 | Tel: 310-348-9656 | Contact Us | www.MinusK.com