Schematic overview of the design of the tip manipulation system without use of tip holders. The manipulator is mounted on the ground plate on which the STM rests. Below the ground plate are two stepping motor-worm gear units for vertical motion (-direction) and rotation. This is realized using a spindle guidance. On top is the gripper module, with which a tip can be removed or inserted from the scanning piezo and moved to a tip storage or tip preparation site.
Schematic view of the spindle guidance system used for the -motion and rotation of the gripper module. The gripper module holder is moving up and down, when the inner spindle turns. The whole system is rotated by rotating the nut. The nut is made of bronze, while the other parts are made of stainless steel.
Schematic view of the gripper module. The stepping motor drives the motion of the gripper jaws (see inset for the shape of the jaws) through an inverted spindle, where the outer part (not the spindle) rotates and moves two levers. The gripper jaws are made of hardened tool steel, in order to avoid that the W tips damage the jaws during manipulation, because of the high clamping forces used. The gripper module is shifted forward and backward using piezolegs indicated in Fig. 1.
Individual frames takes out of a movie, where the tip is removed and inserted into the test scanning piezotube. [(a) and (b)] Approach of the gripper jaws toward the tip. (c) Clamping of the tip. (d) Removal of the tip by vertically lifting the gripper module. (e) Transfer of the tip to any desired place. (f) Reapproach of the tip toward the scanning piezotube. (g) Insertion of the tip. (h) Retraction of the gripper module.
Individual frames taken out of an overview movie, where the tip is removed from the test scanning piezotube and transferred to the tip storage/preparation stage. The field of view is turned by relative to that of Fig. 4. Frames (a) and (b) show the approach of the gripper jaws toward the tip ( and direction, respectively). (c) Clamping of the tip. (d) Removal of the tip from the scanning piezotube. (e) Transfer of the tip to the tip storage/preparation stage. (f) Approach of the tip toward the tip storage/preparation site. (g) Insertion of the tip into the tip storage/preparation site. (h) Retraction of the gripper module.
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