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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, and we have users at more than 200 leading universities and private and government laboratories in 48 countries.


1. It's Here: The Ultra Compact LC-4

2. Minus K 20 Year Isolator Giveaway Winners

3. Featured Application: Atomic Force Microscope Sees More Through Vibration Isolation

4. Upcoming Nanotechnology Meetings and Webinars

5. We want to hear from YOU

Minus K Technology currently builds
vibration isolators to handle payloads from
lbs to 10,000 lbs (per isolator).

When you need the best isolation for your dollar.
Our patented technology will provide you true 1/2 Hz performance.

Give us your challenge.


Announcing: Minus K's New ultra compact isolator

Low Frequency Vibration Isolation & IsolatorsLow Frequency Vibration Isolation & Isolators Low frequency vibration isolator for weight loads from 1 to 130 lbs. and 1/2 Hz performance vertical and horizontal. Minus K's new LC-4 is an ultra compact, low-frequency negative-stiffness isolator. They come in two configurations, our low horizontal performance of 1.5 Hz horizontal or the ultra low frequency 0.5 Hz horizontal. Both configurations offer our signature 0.5 Hz vertical natural frequency.

The LC-4 isolators can be combined into multi isolator systems to support heavier payloads while taking up very little room themselves. The isolators are passive, manually-adjustable and require no air or electricity.

If needed, the LC-4 isolators can be customized to achieve user specific needs. Eg., different horizontal and vertical frequencies, damping, etc. They can also be made cleanroom and vacuum compatible.


Weight: Approximately 7 lb (3.1 kg)

Low Frequency Horizontal

4.75" W x 4.75" D x 7" H
(121mm W x 121mm D x 178mm H)

Ultra Low Frequency Horizontal

4.75" W x 4.75" D x 8" H

(121mm W x 121mm D x 203mm H)

Load Capacities (approximate):
Model Payload Range*
1.5 Hz
0.5 Hz Horizontal
1 - 2.5 lb
(.5 - 1.1 kg)
5 - 15 lb
(2.2 - 6.8 kg)
12 - 25 lb 
(5.4 - 11.3 kg)
25 - 35 lb 
(11.3 - 15.8 kg)
36 - 55 lb 
(16.3 - 25 kg)
50 - 70 lb 
(22.6 - 31.7 kg)
75 - 100 lb 
(34 - 45.3 kg)


95 - 130 lb 
(43 - 59 kg)


  • Vertical natural frequency of 1/2 Hz or less can be achieved over the entire load range.
  • Horizontal natural frequency is load dependent. 1 1/2 Hz (standard) or 1/2 Hz (low) or less natural frequencies can be achieved at or near the nominal load.
  • See Performance for a typical transmissibility curve with 1/2 Hz natural frequency.


Minus K's 20 Year Celebration Isolator Giveaway


We are happy to congratulate the giveaway winners:

California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo - Materials Engineering Department
Vibration isolator for use with High Res Digital Scale, Goniometer and/or Optical Profilometer

City University of New York - Staten Island - Neuroscience Department

Vibration isolator for use when recording neurons firing in rat hippocampus

Saint Louis University - Physics Department

Vibration isolator for use with an Atomic Force Microscope for scanning probe nanolithography

State University of California Merced - Engineering Department

Vibration isolator for use with a micro-tribometer for measurements using capacitance probes

University of Texas at Dallas - Bioengineering Department

Vibration isolator for use with a Liquid-cell or Cryostatic

Minus K Continues Educational Giveaway

On the successful completion of the 20 Year giveaway, Minus K has again launched their educational giveaway for their negative-stiffness vibration isolators for colleges/univerities within the United States.

A NY college/university within the United States, that has an AFM, Electron Microscope, Interferometer, Laser Optical System, Micro Hardness Tester, or any other special equipment that would benefit from a low-frequency vibration isolator can apply.

Limited to one submission per college department. Submission deadline for applications is February 28, 2015. No purchase necessary.The submission forms will be judged by the Educational Giveaway Committee on multiple catagories.

The selected college departments will be notified by March 31, 2015 and posted on Minus K's website.
A new FREE Minus K vibration isolator will be shipped within one month of notification.

Minus K will conduct a brief interview with the selected departments six months after receiving their isolator. The interviews will be used to learn how vibration isolator helped with the application goals and interview may be used for articles in industry publications.

Full information available on our website at www.minusk.com/content/edgiveaway.html

  • Assisting atomic force microscopy (AFMs) to see more at the nanoscale level.

    By Jim McMahon
    Excerpted from Design World - November 2013

    The need for more precise vibration isolation with AFM, though, is becoming critical as resolutions continue to bridge from micro to nano. AFM systems are extremely susceptible to vibrations from the environment. When measuring a very few angstroms or nanometers of displacement, an absolutely stable surface must be established for the instrument. Any vibration coupled into the mechanical structure of the instrument will cause vertical and horizontal noise and bring about a reduction in the ability to measure with the highest resolution.

    Expanding AFM capability and scanning range
    Since the release of the first commercial atomic force microscope about 25 years ago, technology advances have improved AFM performance. One of these advances has expanded the AFM ability to image biological samples in an aqueous buffer and provide a range of physical data for the sample.  Another has increased the imaging speed of AFMs. Unlike Scanning Electron Microscopes, which are capable of scanning in near real-time, conventional AFMs, prior to about five years ago, required between one and 100 minutes to obtain a high-resolution image. With the introduction of high-speed AFM systems, imaging speeds are three orders of magnitude faster than with previous AFMs.

    Within the past several years, research into AFM design, conducted In the Paul Hansma Research Group, Department of Physics, at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has demonstrated success with AFM imaging of large-scale samples at nanoscale resolutions while extending the range of the Z-axis.

    To image at the extreme depths necessary in large-scale cracks and deep microcracks the AFM must have a Z-range of at least 200 microns and a cantilever tip long enough to probe the crack. As the vertical movement of the tip is increased, however, it brings into play a greater possibility for vibration. This issue was solved with the incorporation of negative-stiffness vibration isolation.

    Improving on AFM vibration isolation
    "The key factor for us was the incorporation of a true negative spring constant system, together with the positive spring constant, to achieve an effective and very soft spring constant" said Hansma. "This allows the negative-stiffness vibration isolation device to have a very low vibrational frequency in the vertical direction, which is critical for atomic force microscopy."

    "We like the vibration isolation to be at 0.5 Hz, which we can achieve with the negative-stiffness table," continued Hansma. "Not so much because of the vibrations at that frequency, which are minimal, but because 0.5 Hz is 16x more resistant to transmitting vibrations at a building resonance of 10 or 20 Hz, than compared with a resonant frequency of 2 Hz which would be found with air tables."

    Extended AFM range
    Using the lab's prototyped combined AFM and RPI techniques, and supported by its passive negative-stiffness vibration isolation system, it has been able to achieve scan ranges exceeding one millimeter, an order of magnitude larger in the Z-axis than any commercially available AFM.

    The AFM/RPI system has also proved capable of exploring the molecular origins of fracture resistance in bone tissues to more than 1 mm^2, with acceptable resolution and linearity. 

    The full article can be found at: https://minusk.com/content/in-the-news/DesignWorld_1113.html

    Comments/Suggestions: Applications in New Fields or Features of Interest to You in Our Next Newsletter:

    Upcoming Meetings and Webinars:

    Meeting: Sponsor: Dates: Location:
    Neuroscience 2014
    Society for Neuroscience Nov. 15, 2014 -
    Nov. 19, 2014
    Washington, D.C.
    Photonics West 2015
    Visit the Minus K Booth #5223 at this exhibit Feb. 7, 2015 -
    Feb. 12, 2015
    San Francisco , CA
    Biophysical Society 59th Annual Meeting 2015
    Biophysical Society Feb. 7, 2015 -
    Feb. 11, 2015
    Baltimore , MD
    APS Physics 2015
    American Physics Society Mar. 3, 2015 -
    Mar. 4, 2015
    San Antonio , TX
    2015 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit
    Material Reseach Society Apr. 6, 2015 -
    Apr. 10, 2015
    San Francisco , CA
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