Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


College of Engineering


Eltahry Elghandour

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) uses quantum tunneling effect to study the surfaces of materials on an atomic scale. Since the probe of the microscope is on the order of nanometers away from the surface, the device is prone to noises due to vibrations from the surroundings. To minimize the random noises and floor vibrations, passive vibration isolation is a commonly used technique due to its low cost and simpler design compared to active vibration isolation, especially when the entire vibration isolation system (VIS) stays inside an Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) environment. This research aims to analyze and build a single-stage passive VIS for an STM. The VIS consists of a mass-spring system staying inside an aluminum hollow tube. The mass-spring system is comprised of a circular copper stage suspended by a combination of six extension springs, and the STM stays on top of the copper stage. Magnetic damping with neodymium magnets, which induces eddy currents in the copper conductor, is the primary damping method to reduce the vibrations transferred to the mass-spring system. FEMM and MATLAB® are used to model magnetic flux density and damping coefficients from eddy current effect, which will help determine the necessary damping ratios for the VIS. Viton, which demonstrates a high compatibility with vacuum environments, will also serve as a great damping material between joints and contacts for the housing tube. Viton will be modeled as a Mooney-Rivlin hyperelastic material whose material parameters are previous studied, and Abaqus will be used as a Finite Element Analysis software to study the Viton gaskets’ natural frequencies. The natural frequencies of the aluminum hollow tube will also be investigated through Abaqus.

Award received:

2020 SAMPE University Research Symposium, 3rd place