Transforming Precision Instrumentation: Active Vibration Control Enhances Pneumatic Isolation Systems

January 1, 2023
Sonia Gossai


In the complex world of precision instruments and high-magnification applications like atomic force and confocal microscopy, pneumatic isolation emerges as a powerful tool. This technology is often found in applications used in life science research, such as high-magnification optical microscopes and electrophysiology techniques. Pneumatic isolators, exemplified by TMC’s CleanBench table and micro-g isolators, offer resonant frequencies of about 1.5 to 2 hertz. The relatively soft system effectively supports the table, even when a moving stage is involved.

However, a dynamic stage can cause deflection and induce bouncing in the payload. To counter this, advanced features paired with the pneumatic system have evolved into a parallel type active vibration control system. This combines a pneumatic isolator, non-contacting electro-pneumatic height control, and payload-active damping with linear motors. When integrated into a feedback system, this setup is excellent for canceling stage motion, proving beneficial for payloads with a moving stage.

While setting up and tuning such a system may be intricate, the payoff is worth it – it delivers high performance, effective deflection cancellation, and, when connected to the tool’s stage, can utilize data in a feed-forward manner to aggressively cancel stage motion. This setup certainly qualifies as active vibration control. However, it’s worth noting that the floor vibration isolation is still predominantly defined by the type of spring used, and the add-ons, like the linear motor and active damping, primarily work to cancel stage motion or reduce amplification at the air spring’s resonant frequency. As such, the attenuation of floor vibration is slightly improved but within a limited bandwidth.

Recent Episodes

active vibration control system
View episode

What if I bump into, or step on, a platform supported by STACIS, what happens? Wes Wigglesworth short answer: almost nothing. Thanks to the hard-mount active vibration control system in STACIS, the active control is downward looking, which means that it is measuring and cancelling floor vibration. In layman’s terms, that means you would need […]

field surveys
View episode

In the world of microscopy, especially with high-precision electron microscopes, obtaining clean, precise images can be a complex endeavor, subject to a multitude of factors. Common sources that interfere with the quality of images produced by these microscopes include vibrations, magnetic fields, and acoustics. Given their high sensitivity, these microscopes can easily be affected by […]

vibration system installations
View episode

The Technical Manufacturing Corporation (TMC) ensures successful vibration system installations like¬† STACIS installations through its full-service team located globally, working either directly as TMC employees or through trained experts in their sales channels. The importance of a correct STACIS installation is well recognized, and TMC offers comprehensive on-site services. These range from supervising the physical […]