Asylum Research – MFP Atomic Force Microscope Enclosure 2018-09-18T22:47:36+00:00

Project Description

MPF Atomic Force Microscope Enclosure

Asylum Research

 Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, Industrial, Medical & Scientific

Background and Challenges

Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company and the technology leader in Atomic Force/Scanning Probe Microscopy. Having worked with Nectar on the industrial and mechanical design for its popular Cypher AFM, the company challenged Nectar to develop a better acoustic hood for its MFP-3D products.

Improving Atomic Force Microscopy with an Innovative Acoustic Hood

Asylum Research sought to differentiate itself from the competition by developing an innovative acoustic hood for its MFP-3D line of AFM products. Instead of relying on the generic acoustic enclosures used widely in the industry, Asylum Research wanted to set itself apart by developing a custom hood with improved performance.

Acoustic and Vibration Isolation

While the goal of communicating a brand image of industrial strength, reliability, durability, and robustness was the same, revamping the Printronix family of industrial line matrix and thermal printers was especially challenging because the two types of printers are so different. Industrial line matrix and thermal printers utilize dissimilar technology platforms, require different form factors, handle various label/paper sizes, and serve unrelated markets.

Customizing Hood to Adhere to Design Language

By performing due diligence in understanding the tasks and human factors related to the use of AFMs, Nectar set out to resolve issues in existing hood designs—such as users bumping their heads on top-opening doors—as well as make the hood consistent with the industrial design language created for the Cypher AFM.

The firm’s industrial design incorporates the attributes of innovation, precision, accuracy, advanced instrumentation, and state-of-the-art technology. Nectar’s mechanical design efforts included sophisticated acoustic rejection and vibration isolation analysis. Temperature controls, cable passages, and storage areas were also included in the design.

Rendered final concept

Differentiating from Standard Hoods through Improved Performance

Asylum Research unveiled Nectar’s innovative design for the MFP AFM acoustic hood during the launch of its MFP-3D Infinity product, the flagship of its MFP-3D line, at the Materials Research Society in San Francisco, CA. The new acoustic hood design contributed to remarkable performance improvements, including a 70-percent reduction in XY sensor noise, an 85-percent drop in Z sensor noise, and an overall system height noise level of just 20pm, a third of what it was on the original MFP-3D.

By delivering a better-performing, highly differentiated acoustic hood for the MFP-3D line, Nectar helped Asylum Research introduce a product that enables its customers to achieve higher resolution while still enjoying the unmatched versatility of the MFP-3D product family.