UHV Precision Multi-Axis ManipulatorUHV Precision Multi-Axis Manipulator

Heason Technology has successfully delivered a £ ¼ million precision motion solution to Synchrotron Soleil, the French national synchrotron facility and research laboratory.

ANTARES will benefit from a new and powerful Scanning PhotoEmission Microscope (SPEM) technique that will use the Heason Technology designed manipulators to both focus the beam and perform sample scanning with nanometre precision in combination with three independent detectors producing precise sample mapping.

Revealing ANTARES will provide the global scientific community with the means to examine structures at the atomic level and will be of benefit to pioneering research in soft condensed matter in areas of interest, such as microelectronics and nano-technology, the location of the elements, their relative abundances, and their chemical state.

Heason designed and manufactured four nano-positioning manipulators that combine as a 14 axis ultra-high vacuum and low magnetic motion system to position samples and optics for an exciting new soft x-ray scanning photoemission microscope project called ANTARES.

ANTARES’ motion requirements involve linear and rotary positioning of the sample with a 5-axis nanometre resolution manipulator in combination with three separate, 3-axis, beam modification manipulators to ensure nanometre-level linear alignment of the specialist optical system that comprises several Fresnel Zone plates, an order sorting aperture (OSA) and a pinhole.

Each of the four manipulators are arranged on an intricate adapter plate system to effectively form a single assembly which is housed inside a 550 mm inner-diameter vacuum chamber that also includes a granite isolation plate base, laser interferometer optics, and various other components including the experiments’ complex detector systems.

The challenge of the design was to develop a customised solution within the severe space restriction of the 10-10 mbar ultra-high vacuum chamber, intensified by the need to limit magnetic materials throughout the manipulators’ bearing and mechanical support system whilst restricting motor heat to within a desired operational temperature and range of 25º C, +/- 1º C with vacuum bake-out temperatures up to 120º C.

Such design specifications are considered to be unusual but not impossible by Heason Technology’s design engineers. Heason implemented ceramic servomotor technology from its specialist partner Nanomotion to ensure the high precision motion, non-magnetic and low thermal characteristics for each manipulator axis including both rotary positioners for sample positioning. A further benefit of the technology is the Nanomotion ceramic motor’s ability to hold and lock position with zero position shift when power is removed to further ensure temperature stability.

Each axis includes Renishaw optical encoders with either 0.1 or 0.05 micron feedback resolution to ensure the overall positioning specification is achieved. To maintain the low magnetic requirement, ensure the high stiffness and minimise harmonic sensitivity within the positioning system, specialised stainless steel cross roller bearings with low magnetic permeability have been employed.

For further information email sales@heason.com or call us on +44 (0) 1403 792 300