Researchers at the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at Newcastle University were facing limitations in the performance of their Omicron Variable Temperature UHV-STM. They had determined that vibrations from a nearby highway were preventing them from using the instrument at its maximum performance. They contacted Herzan to specify a supplementary vibration isolation system which could be retrofitted to the instrument.

Based on the size and weight of their instrument and the performance that was required, a six-module AVI-350S active vibration control system was selected.  The system fits entirely under the STM body without increasing the footprint or height of the system.  This was a major advantage, as the researchers’ lab space was limited.

Even as a retrofit, the installation was straightfoward.  Once the STM was back up and running, the researchers found that the noise floor on the instrument had dramatically improved.  Quantitative and qualitative tests showed that they were now able to operate their instrument at its full performance.


“(W)e first tried air legs, but these actually increased our problems with vibrational noise. I believe the reason for this is that the air legs gave the system additional freedom to move and so vibrations from stainless steel gas tube lines more effectively coupled in to our system, resulting in increased, rather and decreased noise.  I will also be reporting back to my service contact at Omicron with the success of the active vibration isolation.”


Images and data courtesy of Dr. Steven Schofield, School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, The University of Newcastle (Australia)