Internal Vibration Isolation for A Cryogen-free Cryostat to Operate Scanning Tunneling Microscopes

Invention Summary:

Cryogen-free cryostats have attracted attention due to their significant reduction in cost and labor to cool systems to cryogenic temperatures. With cryogen-free cryostats helium does not need to be refilled, which allows experiments to run indefinitely without interruption. This also means that the costly drawing from the worlds scarce helium supply is avoided. However, a major disadvantage with cryogen-free cryostats is that their pulse tubes generate strong mechanical vibration (noise) which interferes with the quality of vibration sensitive measurements, such as scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs).

Researchers at Rutgers University have created a novel internal vibration isolation unit that is able to connect to existing cryogen-free cryostats and reduce their noise level low enough to operate STMs. The invention utilizes passive and active damping to reduce the vibrational noise reaching the STM.  The invention also features separate vacuum seals and the ability to monitor tilting, movement, and vibration sensing. Further, the ultra-compact design allows the unit to fit in a tightly restricted space.

Market Applications:

  • Materials analysis
  • Vibration control
  • Scanning probe spectroscopy and microscopy at nanoscale
  • Atomic scale spectroscopy of nanomaterials
  • Surface analysis of nanomaterials
  • Magnetic properties at nanoscale
  • Electronic properties of nanomaterials
  • Atom manipulation/assembly
  • Quantum technology


  • Highly compatible with existing cryogen-free cryostat products
  • Significantly lowers noise level in cryogen-free cryostats to operate STMs
  • Separate vacuum seals ensure clean experiment environment
  • Ultra-compact design

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Provisional patent application filed, patent pending. Available for licensing and/or search collaboration. For any business development and other collaborative partnerships contact .

Patent Information:
Donghyun Lim
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Machines & Instruments