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Motion and Manipulation

Vacuum Environments

Vacuum environments are an essential element in the analysis, development and fabrication of some of the world’s most basic and sophisticated products. From complex experiments in particle physics and delicate x-ray tomography of the human body to the mass production of decorative coatings on automobile grills and exacting anti-reflective coatings on precision optical elements, vacuum environments are crucial. These and many other processes and products would be impossible to reproduce in an atmospheric environment. Near perfect vacuum environments can be attained in laboratory and production vacuum systems by careful selection of the vacuum components used in its design, construction and operation, keeping in mind that the system’s ultimate vacuum level will be limited by its weakest component.

Triple axis micrometer driven XYZ Stage

Triple axis micrometer driven XYZ Stage


Motion Technology

Precise motion and manipulation of samples in an atmospheric environment can be a challenging endeavor. The complexity of the task is greatly increased if the samples are isolated from atmosphere inside a vacuum chamber while trying to effect precise manipulation on them through the chamber wall, without compromising vacuum integrity.

This section represents MDC’s ongoing efforts in the development and production of practical and dependable air to vacuum sample motion and manipulation solutions for the scientific and industrial vacuum community. It provides scientists, vacuum technologists and engineers with the most comprehensive line of high and ultrahigh vacuum motion and manipulation instruments available from one source. This section is divided into three basic sections including motion, manipulation and motorization. MDC’s motion and manipulation products are precision vacuum instruments manufactured to exacting tolerances in a production facility by skilled craftsmen, machinists and technicians using advanced robotic machining technology. All vacuum components produced by MDC are constructed of high grade vacuum compatible materials required for today’s most demanding ultrahigh vacuum applications. At the heart of MDC motion and manipulation instrument design is the reliability and performance of edge welded stainless steel bellows. The use of edge welded stainless steel bellows has become a vacuum industry standard and an essential component in the construction of quality vacuum equipment. With the exception of a small number of direct drive products, all MDC motion and manipulation actuator seals are fitted with edge welded stainless steel bellows. 

MDC rotary motion instruments allow the transmission of rotation through a chamber wall via a unique bellows sealed wobble shaft mechanism. Drive shaft bearing supports on both the air and vacuum sides of the drive shaft provide smooth rotary motion. Bearings on all MDC motion and manipulation instruments are coated with a Dicronite® UHV compatible dry lubricant impinged on to the metal bearing surfaces. Linear motion is transmitted through a chamber wall using precision fine pitch lead screws coupled to bellows sealed, bearing supported shafts. MDC rotary and linear motion instruments are ideal for continuous or intermittent rotary and linear motion within a vacuum system. Sample motion is measured along laser etched scales on an actuator housing. MDC precision micrometers are offered on select instruments. These micrometers employ a unique plus-minus scale which divides the overall travel of a device into positive or negative travel as measured from a central starting position. Products are offered in standard manual, pneumatic and motorized configurations.

Product Line

The motion section details basic rotary, linear and multi-motion devices. Rotary products are offered in standard, high temperature, pneumatic, miniature, precision, magnetic and direct drive configurations. Linear products offer most of the configurations listed in the rotary section with the addition of push-pull, rack and pinion and tunnel access drives. Multimotion products offer both rotary and linear motion within the same instrument in standard, precision and direct drives. Also available in the multi-motion products are various wobble stick configurations.

The manipulation section details XYZ stages, load-lock systems, port aligners and invacuum accessories. Stages are available in various configurations including V-Plane® modular building block stages. Single and multiple axes stages are also available in compact, standard and heavy duty models. Stages are used for two and three dimensional sample manipulation inside UHV vacuum systems. Load-lock systems are available with circular or rectangular entry ports and come equipped with magnetically coupled sample transporters. Load-lock systems are sample staging chambers used to introduce samples into larger vacuum systems without breaking the larger system’s vacuum. Port aligners are adjustable port flange interfaces designed to correct mate-up between components with temporary installation of in-vacuum support structures. Rotary and linear in-vacuum accessories are components designed to expand the capabilities of motion products presented in this catalog. 

The motorization section includes AC, DC analog, DC stepper motors and the necessary controls required to optimize their operation. Motor specifications for all product motorization options are detailed in this section. Motor specifications are listed as support information for the products specifying their use. In-vacuum stepper motors for both high and ultrahigh vacuum applications are also offered.

Port Mount Flanges

Motion and manipulation product mount styles include two industry standard flange formats. Kwik-Flange™ ISO KF flanges are ideal for 1x10-8 Torr high vacuum systems requiring frequent assembly and disassembly. Fastening and sealing is achieved by a single hinged radial clamp, which provides compression of an elastomer gasket. Kwik-Flange™ flanges comply with all ISO specifications for vacuum hardware. Select products are offered with Del-Base™ 1" baseplate, elastomer seal mounts which are also suitable for high vacuum service. Ultrahigh vacuum products are supplied with Del-Seal™ CF Conflat® compatible metal seal flanges. A knife-edge sealing mechanism

Custom Products

MDC’s technical sales engineers can assist you with the modification of standard motion and manipulation products, as required by your special application; or we can produce components to specifications on your manual or electronic AutoCAD® DWG and DXF drawings. Developing and producing solutions to your vacuum needs is our business; we know that today’s custom inquiries may become tomorrow’s standard products. From the simplest of airtight seals to sophisticated motion and manipulation instruments, MDC provides a complete solution for vacuum science and industry.