Typical Vacuum Mechanisms
The vacuum mechanisms are used in vacuum technological equipment described in Chapter 1 for transportation of components (samples, wafers, cathodes, etc.) from one working position to another, for their orientation and positioning against the instruments (electron-, ion-, molecular, X-ray beam), or for their positioning against other components (for example, cathode against anode of the gauge). In scanning microscopy they are used for the instrument (probe or cantilever) positioning and scanning of the analyzed surface. In most cases it is enough to have one or two degrees of freedom (linear motion and rotation). However, some technological processes (surface analysis, scanning nanomicroscopy, X-ray lithography) require 3–6 degrees of freedom.
The main element in any vacuum mechanism is the motion feedthrough which plays a role of the mechanical element of transmission as well as a sealing element. It is the most critical mechanical element of the kinematic chain of the drive because it controls the required precision of the mechanism and at the same time it should protect vacuum elements against the atmospheric air. In many cases the motion feedthrough plays a role of the final vacuum mechanism on a technological position.
In some cases for small micro- or nanotravels independent piezo drive situated in the vacuum chamber can be used. In these cases vacuum feedthroughs are not used.
KeywordsBall Bearing Kinematic Chain Ultrahigh Vacuum Output Shaft Kinematic Pair
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