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TMC's Quiet Island® supports the "Resolution Revolution"

How TMC's Quiet Island® supports the "Resolution Revolution" at a Medical School in Boston
by Edina Poelchen

raised floor render

Semiconductor manufacturing factories (fabs), Nanotechnology Centers and other high-end precision manufacturing and research facilities often incorporate cleanrooms with a system of raised false floors to accommodate complex facilities requirements (plumbing, electrical cables, gas piping, etc.) and to maintain strict cleanliness standards. Such floors present a challenge to the installation of vibration-sensitive production, inspection, and metrology equipment. The raised floors cannot provide the necessary quiet vibration environment for such tools. TMC's Quiet Island is an innovative solution that replaces a section of the raised floor area with a "Quiet Island" to support the equipment from the sub-floor below. The Quiet Island consists of a cleanroom compatible platform top combined with an application and site-specific support structure.

TMC's Quiet Island consists of three main elements:

1. STACIS® III: The heart of structure is the STACIS III Active Vibration Cancellation System. TMC’s unique active piezoelectric vibration cancellation technology is unmatched in the industry with its isolation starting at 0.6 Hz, providing 40 to 70% isolation at 1 Hz and more than 90% at 2 Hz and above.

stacis 3 performance transmissibility
Measured transmissibility on a 24” tall 40”x60” Quiet Island, 4-mount STACIS support, simulated VC-C input (500 μin./s, 12.5 μm/s RMS) from the floor. Image credit: TMC / AMETEK

2. Risers and Supports: support STACIS III isolators and are designed and manufactured by TMC. With thousands of installations globally supporting over 200 different instrument models, TMC has the knowledge and experience to design a support structure that meets the needs of the equipment, the facility, and the users.

3. Rigid platform: is a TMC designed and manufactured 4 inch (100 mm) thick lamination of steel plates sandwiched around a lightweight, incompressible, damped core material. It ensures an extremely high level of stiffness and structural damping.

riser photo
Image credit: TMC/AMETEK

Quiet Islands perfectly support many different types of vibration-sensitive tools. One major example is cryoelectron microscopes (cryo-EM).

In biology, structure is the key to understanding function. Advanced imaging technologies, like cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) are revolutionizing structural biology, as samples that could previously only be studied by X-ray crystallography or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) can now be structurally analyzed to comparable resolutions by cryo-EM (source). Cryo-EM enables the scientists to observe the structure of molecules at near-atomic resolution. This groundbreaking development is often referred to as the "Resolution Revolution" and is of great importance in biomedical and cancer research and in development of new drugs, among others.

In recognition of the importance of this technology to the future of biomedical research, a consortium formed by several notable hospitals and universities in Boston has established a new facility to make cryo-EM more broadly available to the research community. TMC is proud to support the “Resolution Revolution” at the medical school by providing the vibration isolation support system for their Transmission Electron Microscope.

Are you facing with floor vibration issues in your raised floor environment, which compromises your research results?

Quiet Island gives you the following advantages:

Incorporates STACIS - TMC's active piezoelectric vibration cancellation technology is unmatched in the industry, with its "hard mount" design and isolation starting at 0.6Hz, compatible with tools incorporating internal isolators. Learn more about STACIS technology through our website here.

Modularity, customization and relocation flexibility - Each platform is individually tailored to the customer's application but can easily be reconfigured if the tool or the floor characteristics change, unlike concrete plinths. You have the choice of many options for customization. Just to name a few:
• restraint brackets
• custom cutouts, thru-holes in platform top
• tapped holes in the platform top for tool tie-downs
• platform top eyebolts for lifting
• bridge plates for waffle-type sub floors
• rigid Quiet Island without vibration isolation system

Expertise - TMC has broad experience working with the world's leading semiconductor manufacturers, scientific facilities and ultra-precision OEMs. We know our customers and their needs. We design and manufacture in-house.

 To download the application note, click here.