SEM + AVI Series

Caltech Case Study - happy customers

The Zewail Group operating a Quanta FEG 650 interfaced with a custom optical set-up to enable ultrafast electron microscopy imaging. Feeding laser into SEM chamber requires positional stability within a few micrometers, so SEM internal air isolation was not in use.

Vibration levels present in the environment were significant enough to degrade imaging capability when air isolation was disabled. A high performance vibration isolation system which could maintain a high degree of positional stability was required.

“We feel quite positive about the performance of the AVI. The anti-vibration system much reduces the vibration seen in the images, and at the same time maintains vertical stability of the laser interaction with the emitter tip.” – Jerry Yang, Caltech

Application Details


  • AVI-400 Platform
    AVI-400 Platform

    AVI-400M: Table Stable Active Vibration Isolation Technology

  • Hybrid of passive and active isolation mechanisms
  • Dynamically senses incoming vibrations and actively cancels them out
  • No low frequency resonance
  • Excellent attenuation performance across a broad frequency spectrum in all six degrees of freedom
  • High stiffness and rigidity (500x more stiff than passive solutions)


  • Easily retrofitted
  • No special tools or training required
  • Installation takes approximately one hour
  • Does not increase footprint or height of system
  • Virtually invisible when installed (see picture above)

Quantitative Results

Vibration Measurements


Caltech Case Study Results - No Isolation
No Vibration Isolation – 3,523 micro g’s
Caltech Case Study Results - Passive Isolation
With Passive Vibration Isolation – 879 micro g’s
Caltech Case Study Results - Active Isolation
With Active Vibration Isolation (AVI-400) – 308 micro g’s

Qualitative Results 

SEM Images of Carbon Nanotubes with and without active vibration control


Other Benefits

  • High positional stability enables Ultrafast Electron Microscopy
  • No increase in footprint
  • No change in working height
  • Quick and easy installation
  • No maintenance required