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Newsletter January 2021 | Menu of Newsletters
"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...

- Critical Nano-Precision Negative-Stiffness vs. Active Vibration Isolation

- Featured Product: MK26 Vibration Isolation Table & Workstation

- A Perfect 10 could be an 11 with the CT-2 Ultra-Thin Platform
and Audio & Turntable Vibration Isolation

- 3D Surface Analysis Vibration Isolation

- Optical Photopatterning & Photovoltaic Performance Vibration Isolation

- Cleanroom Negative Stiffness vs Pneumatic Vibration Isolation

- Ultra-Low Vibration Lab at University of Michigan
Facilitates Nanoengineering Discoveries

- Press Release: CT-2 Successor to the
Award Winning Utlra-Thin CT-1 Vibration Isolator

- Portable Atom Interferometry Negative Stiffness Vibration Isolation

- Previous Features
- 300 leading universities and private and government laboratories
in 51 countries use Minus K technology

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Commercial Micro Manufacturing - Dec.2020

Negative-Stiffness vs. Active Vibration Isolation for Critical Nano-Precision Applications

The need for nano- precision has became increasingly important in many fields of research and manufacturing, inducing microelectromcs fabrication, laser/optical system applications and biological research. This has meant that so too has the need for vibration Isolation technology that better facilitates the operation of sensitive Instrumentation such as atomic force microscopes, scanning tunneling microscopes, laser interferometers and optical profilers.

Once the mainstay for stabilizing academia's and Industry's most critical microenginering instrumentation, pneumatic (gas or air pressurized) vibration Isolation tables are today proving unsatisfactory in isolating disruptive low-frequency vibrations. There is a growing trend for locating sensitive instrumentation in building to locations that are subject to extremely high levels of vibration and this is a significant stumbling block for pneumatic vibration isolation tables, meaning alternative vibration isolation solutions are required.

Vibration sources
Nano-level instrumentation is sensitive to extremely small payload vibrations that can be caused by a multitude of factors. Every structure (building) transmits vibrations from Internal and external sources In a building, heating and ventilation systems, fans, pumps and elevators are Just some of the mechanical devices that create vibrations. Outside a building, adjacent road traffic, nearby construction, aircraft and even wand and other weather conditions all create vibrations How strongly the instrumentation is influenced depends on where it is in the building and how far away it is from the vibration sources.

Isolation for vibration critical applications
Over the past 25 years, two technologies have gained prominence for their ability to Isolate vibrations Influencing nano-level Instrumentation, namely active vibration isolation (also known as electronic-force cancellation) and negative-stiffness vibration isolation {also known as passive vibration isolation).

Both active and negative-stiffness vibration isolation are uniquely equipped for applications where structures smaller than a micrometre need to be produced or measured. These technologies provide functionality that is typically not achievable with pneumatic vibration isolation tables.

Full article: Comparing systems...

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MK26 Ergonomically Designed
Ultra-Low Frequency Table & Workstation

The MK26 Series Vibration Control Workstation with more ergonomic comfort is designed specifically for ultra-low natural frequency applications. The system utilizes MinusK patented negative stiffness vibration isolators in order to provide a compact, passive Vibration Isolation Workstation with ultra-low natural frequencies, higher internal structural frequencies, and excellent vertical and horizontal isolation efficiencies. The MK26 has also been upgraded to provide much better user comfort and additional leg space.

Acrylic Chamber atop an MK26

Pricing & sizes for MK26

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Minus K Technology CT-2 Bench Top Vibration Isolation Platform for Audio & Turntables

The CT-2 was originally developed for scientific and research applications such as spacecraft design, nanotechnology, and medical research. The patented technology is called Negative-stiffness, where the isolating platform seems to float with no resistance.

You might have thought, maybe for only a few moments, that your audio system was sounding especially good. With that feeling, you would have rated the sound a top score of "10". Then those magical moments ended and your system returned to it's normal - but still good - performance level. Well, folks, the Minus K CT-2 Isolation Platform could raise your system score to an "11" and keep it there! Highly recommended for systems that are already high performance and where you want to coax the maximum performance from your audio investment....

Dr. David L. Platus is President and Founder and is the principal inventor of the technology. He earned a B.S. and a Ph.D. in Engineering from UCLA, and a diploma from the Oak Ridge School of (Nuclear) Reactor Technology. Prior to founding Minus K® Technology he worked in the nuclear, aerospace and defence industries conducting and directing analysis and design projects in structural-mechanical systems. He became an independent consultant in 1988. Dr. Platus holds over 20 patents related to shock and vibration isolation.

Ultra-Thin 2.7" High CT-2 Product Attributes:
  - Isolation performance is typically 10 to 100 times better than air systems
  - No air or electric power is required
  - Nothing to wear out
  - No maintenance

A complete description of the patented Negative-stiffness design can be found on the Technology page of the manufacturers Web site. The Minus K platform is completely silent and requires no pumps or power. The CT-2 model platforms are available for different weight ranges of payload, or supported weight. The 40CT-2 model, while not specifically listed on the Web page, was perfect for the Clearaudio Ovation turntable used for this review. The platform dimensions are 18" W x 20" D x 2.7" H, with a weight of about 30 pounds. Different models, for different payloads, range in price from $4,650 to about $5,250. In my system, the platform was installed 20" W x 18" D, which placed the adjustment crank on the 18" left side.

The horizontal frequency of ~1.5 Hz is achieved at or near the upper limits of the payload range. The vertical frequency is tunable to 0.5 Hz throughout the payload range. What this means is that any very low frequency vibrations that are not blocked or absorbed by the Minus K platform are several orders of magnitude below what your phono cartridge, or even the best subwoofers, can process.

Full article...

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3D Surface Analysis Vibration Isolation
High-precision, nanometer-level 3D surface measurement systems can be negatively affected by low-frequency vibration—distorting imaging and producing inaccurate measurement readings.

Manufacturers need to control processes to produce a consistent, reliable product. Where precision surface engineering is required, surface measurement may be a key part of maintaining control of the process, by checking output to see that the process is not outside of specification.

3D non-contact surface analysis is widely used in the industry for the measurement of small displacements and surface irregularities. It delivers the ultimate in high accuracy and repeatable and traceable measurement. When built into microscopy equipment, employing 3D laser scanning or structured light, these systems report the surface condition of a product with more accuracy than any other methodproviding nanometer-level profile measurements of height, width, angle, radius, volume, and roughness. Such precision measurement systems allow users to improve product quality and reliability, and increase manufacturing consistency and production yields.

Low-Frequency Vibration
When measuring at such high levels of precision, any instrument can be negatively affected by low-frequency vibrations generated within a manufacturing facility. These can distort measurements and impact imaging and measurement data

One company that has great familiarity with the manufacturing environment and 3D surface measurements is Keyence Corporation--a leading supplier of sensors, measuring systems, laser markers, microscopes, and machine vision systems worldwide.

We have many customers with high-precision 3D measurement systems operating in high-vibration environments, performing microscopy evaluation at 30,000 times magnification, looking at nanometer-level surface features, said Evan Eltinge, Senior Sales Engineer Surface Analysis Team, with Keyence Corporation of America. At that level of detail, and in that environment, if measures are taken to reduce vibration it improves the quality of the data.

Without proper isolation surface measurements occurring at 3,000 to 5,000 times magnification, the vibration could contribute to image blurring and loss of image quality, continued Eltinge.

Vibration can be caused by a multitude of factors within a plant; every structure is transmitting noise. Within the building itself, production machinery, forklift trucks, the heating and ventilation system, fans, pumps, compressors, and elevators are just some of the mechanical devices and equipment that create low-frequency vibration. Depending on how far away the surface measurement instrumentation is from these vibration sources, and where inside the structure the instrumentation is locatedwhether on the production floor or in a loftwill determine how strongly the instrumentation will be influenced.

External to the building, the equipment can be influenced by vibrations from truck movement, road traffic, nearby construction, loud noise from aircraft, and even wind and other weather conditions that can cause movement of the structure.

Vibration Isolation Options for 3D Surface Analysis...

Full article...

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Optical Photopatterning & Photovoltaic Performance Vibration Isolation
"Working at these micron and sub-micron levels our necessity for vibration isolation
became critical for our optical patterning systems."

The Moulé Group, at the University of California/Davis, is interested in the solution processing and patterning of organic electronic materials for use in devices such as light-emitting diodes, photovoltaics, transistors, thermoelectric, and chemical sensors. The Group specifically focuses on using structural and dynamic measurement techniques to quantify the effects of solution processing and patterning on material morphology and device architecture.

Tucker Murrey, a doctoral candidate and published author with the Moulé Group, is actively involved with researching and designing a scalable optical patterning process for organic photovoltaic applications.

"Most working organic devices consist of several layers of material, each having a specific optical and/or electronic function," said Murrey. "One universal design constraint for complicated device architectures, like organic field-effect transistors (OFETs), organic photovoltaics (OPVs) and red-green-blue organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays is that they require multiple components patterned laterally and vertically to operate. Currently, many of these components are comprised of non-flexible inorganic materials. In order to move towards flexible, all organic electronic devices, there is a need to develop high precision vertical and lateral patterning methods that are compatible with solution processing.

mmense efforts in the plastic electronics field have led to unprecedented progress and continuous improvements in organic photovoltaic (OPV) performance.

"Given that conventional photolithography technology techniques are incompatible with polymeric semiconductors, there is a critical need to develop scalable photopatterning methods capable of laterally patterning organic semiconducting compounds with sub-micromometer resolution," added Murrey. "This patterning process would enable the construction of a sophisticated OPV architecture designed to increase external quantum efficiency."

"A scalable process for controlling film topography with sub-micrometer resolution would represent a substantial development that enables the advancement of complex organic electronic device architectures," continued Murrey.

Photothermal Projection Lithography
The Moulé Group is working on a series of solution-based methods, one of which is called Photothermal Projection Lithography for Polymeric Semiconductors with Sub-diffraction Limited Resolution.

Polymeric semiconductors combine many of the electrical properties of inorganic semiconductors with the mechanical flexibility and chemical processability of organic materials, such as enabling them to be deposited from solution over large areas, greatly reducing production costs compared to conventional metallic semiconductors. Developments like this have motivated a rapid increase in demand for low-cost, high-throughput, and high-resolution fabrication techniques.

Organic semiconductors are non-metallic materials that exhibit semiconductor properties, whose building blocks are polymers made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These conductive polymers are, essentially, electrical insulators, but become conducting when charges are either injected from electrodes or by photoexcitation, or doping the intentional introduction of impurities into an intrinsic semiconductor for the purpose of modulating its electrical, optical, and structural properties.

"Over the past year I have been upscaling an optical patterning process that our group developed to make micro-scale electronic devices with these materials," expressed Murrey. "The overall pattern area was limited to less than one square millimeter. Now we are trying to upscale the overall patterning area to about one square centimeter."

Murrey designed a unique lab-scale photolithography system, modifying a Leica DM2700 optical microscope, swapping out its LED illumination source to permit a high-powered (Class 4) 405nm diode laser to be projected through it. Built into the system is a laser beam expander, collimating lens, and an optical speckle remover.

   Full article...

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Cleanroom Vibration Isolation:
Negative Stiffness vs Pneumatic Systems

For decades, pneumatic air tables have been the workhorse for reducing vibrations in cleanrooms for manufacturing and research, where critical micro-engineering instrumentation is employed. But just as technology has steadily pushed the boundaries into nano-applications in microelectronics fabrication, industrial laser/optical systems and biological research, so has the need become ever more necessary for improved precision in vibration isolation.

Increasingly, pneumatic air tables are taking a back seat to the more recent technology of negative-stiffness vibration isolation, which over the past 20 years since its introduction, has proven itself in thousands of applications throughout industry, government and academia, including some of the most diverse and challenging environments, such as cleanrooms.

Vibration Sources
Vibration can be caused by a multitude of factors. Every structure is transmitting noise. Within the building itself, the heating and ventilation system, fans, pumps and elevators are just some of the mechanical devices that create vibration. Depending on how far away the cleanroom equipment is from these vibration sources, and where in the structure the equipment is located, whether on the third floor or in the basement, for example, will determine how strongly the equipment will be influenced. External to the building, the equipment can be influenced by vibrations from adjacent road traffic, nearby construction, loud noise from aircraft, and even wind and other weather conditions that can cause movement of the structure.

Vibrations in the range of 2 hertz (Hz) to 20,000 Hz will influence sensitive equipment. But these internal and external influences primarily cause lower frequency vibrations, which are transmitted through the structure, creating strong disturbances in precision equipment used in cleanrooms.

Vibration Isolation
Used extensively in semiconductor manufacturing, biotechnology, the life sciences, and other fields that are very sensitive to environmental contaminants - such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles, and chemical vapours - cleanrooms provide an enclosed environment with a controlled level of contamination that is specified by the number of particles per cubic metre at a specified particle size.

Equipment employed inside the cleanroom must be designed to generate minimal air contamination including vibration isolation equipment, which can range from relatively simple rubber blocks, metal springs and breadboards, to highly efficient air systems, active electronic systems, and negative-stiffness systems - constructed with more advanced technologies and materials for higher precision vibration isolation.

Full article...

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Press Release:
New Ultra-Thin CT-2 Low-Frequency Vibration Isolation Platform Adapts to Space Constraints in Critical Micro- and Nano-Microscopy

Full release...


Ultra-Low Vibration Lab
at University of Michigan
Facilitates Nanoengineering Discoveries

Engineering a Vibration Isolation Solution

The Ultra-Low Vibration Lab (ULVL) is a part of the new Center of Excellence in Nano Mechanical Science and Engineering (NAMSE) – a recent addition to the G.G. Brown Laboratories on the North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Noel Perkins, former associate chair for Facilities and Planning with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, describes this addition as a “building-within-a-building”. The Nanoengineering Lab, located on the ground floor, contains eight ultra-low-vibration chambers for nanoscale metrology, mechanical, temperature and interference testing.

The chambers are structurally isolated from the balance of the building. Vibration isolation tables are mounted on pillars that are part of an 8-ft-thick seismic mass, which is isolated from the chamber floors. Even researchers footsteps wont disturb experiments. With the emergence of nanotechnology and nanoengineering of the last two decades, a relatively small number of institutions and agencies have been able to construct facilities for ultra-sensitive measurements, and I know of none that are focused on the mission of a mechanical engineering department, said Edgar Meyhofer, professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering at the university.

Validating Fluctuational Electrodynamics
When heat travels between two separated objects, it flows differently at the smallest scales distances on the order of the diameter of DNA, or 1/50,000 of a human hair. For example, heat radiates 10,000 times faster at the nanoscale. Researchers have been aware of this for decades, but they have not understood the process. Now, at ULVL, researchers have measured how heat radiates from one surface to another in a vacuum at distances down to 2 nanometers. "We've shown for the first time, the dramatic enhancements of radiative heat fluxes in the extreme near-field," said Reddy. "Our experiments and calculations imply that heat flows several orders of magnitude faster in these ultra-small gaps." Reddy and Meyhofer led the work. A paper on the findings was recently published in the international journal of science, Nature.

Full article...

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Negative-Stiffness Vibration Isolation Aids Research Into
Portable Atom Interferometry at UC Berkeleys Müller Group

MiniG uses an atom interferometer to measure the effect of gravity on clouds of atoms...

Professor Holger Müller's Group at UC Berkeley is focused on advancing experimental quantum technology to push the sensitivity of experiments to new levels, and to perform precision measurements of fundamental constants. The groups work uses methods from atomic, molecular and optical physics. One project is the development of a transportable, multi-axis atom interferometer, named miniG.

MiniG was designed to research how quantum interference can be used to measure gravity outside of the laboratory. When cooled to just above absolute zero, the atoms form the focus of a portable quantum gravimeter.

Gravimeters, used to measure gravitational acceleration, have been successfully applied for metrology, geology and geophysics. MiniG uses an atom interferometer to measure the effect of gravity on clouds of atoms that are first trapped and cooled. Interferometry inherently depends on the wave nature of the object. Particles, including atoms, can behave like waves. Atom interferometers measure the difference in phase between atomic matter waves along different paths.

We use atoms that are laser-cooled to millionths of a degree above absolute zero, said Xuejian Wu, a post-doctoral scholar, involved in the development of miniG at the Müller Group. With pulses of light, we drive each atom into a quantum superposition of having been kicked with the momentum of photons, or not kicked. The atoms, in two places at one time, are in a superposition of recoiling backwards or staying still. By manipulating the state of the atoms using one of two types of such light pulses, we steer the matter waves' paths and recombine the matter waves at the end of the experiment.

Atom interferometry has become one of the most powerful technologies for precision measurements, and atomic gravimeters, based on atom interferometry, are extremely accurate and have long-term stability.

Current atom interferometers, however, are too complicated to operate in a miniature package or under field conditions. Berkeleys mini-G was engineered to resolve this issue.

In this project, we are developing a mobile atom interferometer using a single-diode laser system and a pyramidal magneto-optical trap, continued Wu. This allows the device to be smaller, simpler and more robust than conventional atom interferometers.

Vibration Isolation

Measurements of atomic precision require isolation from ambient vibrations coming from internal and external sources. As measurements are being done at a smaller and smaller level, those vibrations that are present will start to dominate, and the need for more effective isolation increases.

Although the Müller Groups research laboratory is situated in the basement of a building on the Berkeley campus, it is still influenced by vibrations from the buildings HVAC system.

For several years now we have been using Negative-Stiffness vibration isolation for our research projects, continued Wu.

Full article...

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Previous Features:

Vibration Criterion (VC) Curves-Lab Analysis

Heavy Payload Systems Vibration Isolation

Bad Vibrations: How to Keep the Effects of Environmental Bounce Out of Your Data

Vibration Isolation & Certifying Bowling Ball Surface Roughness

Press Release: Laser Focus World Innovator Award for
Ultra-Thin, Low-Height CT-1

How They Work>>Negative-Stiffness Vibration Isolators

Microscopy Vibration Isolation

FAQs>>Frequently Asked Questions About Vibration Isolation

Custom Vibration Isolation Systems

Audio Reproduction & Turntable Vibration Isolation

Vibration Isolator Steadies Optics for NASA Telescopes + Vacuum Isolation

Optical-Laser Vibration Isolation + video

Optical-Laser Vibration Isolation + video

Cryostat Vibration Isolation

Nanoindentation & Micro Hardness Testing
Vibration Isolation

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

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

Articles In The News

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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

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Spacecraft Vibration Isolation On the Ground

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