Application Note:
Vacuum-Compatibility and Ultraclean Applications

For applications requiring ultraclean devices or operation in high-vacuum, our vacuum-compatible Picomotor™ actuators and Stability™ mounts offer “quantified exceptional” performance. We characterize all our vacuum components using standard Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry analysis (GCMS) as shown in the figure on the right. Our GCMS measurement identifies total mass loss in parts-per-million loss at 85°C over three hours. Depending on the degree of cleanliness of your system or depth of your vacuum, choose from the various performance options. For the cleanest motors, choose the “-UHV” or the Picomotor actuator Ultra which is compatible to 10–9 Torr. Our “-V” option is compatible to 10–6 Torr. Mass spectrograms detailing the exact outgassing compounds are available on request.


If you need vacuum compatibility, we offer two versions: “-V” and “-UHV”. In both versions, we use special low-outgassing materials and adhesives, and clean assembly practices. Both come with short, Teflon®-coated leads so you can make connections to your vacuum-chamber feedthrough. (We provide a cable to connect from your feedthrough to your driver.)

If you are also working in an x-ray or other high-radiation environment, we recommend ordering a custom version where the leads are replaced with Kapton®-coated wires. While Teflon is compatible for use in high-vacuum environments, it is not recommended for use in high-radiation applications where, with repeated exposure to x-rays and other radiation, it can degrade and fall off, possibly leading to electrical shorts. So, if you're using our Picomotor™ actuators in a high-radiation application, contact our tech support to order these customized versions. We also have created many other customized solutions, including non-magnetic versions.

-V” This is our standard vacuum-compatible option which is rated to 10–6 Torr. This is typically adequate for moderate vacuum applications.

-UHV” This is our ultrahigh-vacuum-compatible option which is rated to 10–9 Torr. These versions are suitable for high to ultrahigh-vacuum applications. For semiconductor applications (e.g. UV and EUV), please contact us for sulfur-free versions.


Comparison of typical outgassing rates of several of our vacuum-compatible mounts and Picomotor actuators in parts per million volatile mass loss at 85°C over three hours using standard Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry analysis (GCMS).
GCMS Overview_Larger_2006
Lifetime Specifications for -V and -UHV Picomotor Actuators– The lifetime of our standard, “-V”, and “-UHV” Picomotor actuators is over 1-billion steps. We test the Picomotor actuators by continuously cycling them through a 2-mm travel range, 1 mm out and 1 mm back, pushing a 5-lb axial load.