JPK Acoustic Enclosure with Temperature Control for Live Cell Applications
09 Nov 2012

High-performance AFM studies rely not only on the instrument, but also on the environment around it. In some cases the environmental conditions in a laboratory are not optimal for high-performance measurements (e.g. when there are refrigerators, fans or air-conditioning systems nearby). To assist our customers in achieving high-resolution imaging using the NanoWizard® AFM, JPK has developed a new, versatile acoustics and vibration isolation platform. The option to control the temperature of the entire system enables the investigation of biological samples. Thus, a seamlessly integrated platform can be offered to give our instruments the best environmental conditions.

Aside from the stability and vibration damping, the key issue in designing such a platform is to ensure size flexibility to fit all possible setups. These range from JPK TopViewOptics™ to sophisticated setups integrated with inverted optical microscopes, which in turn may add their own accessories to expand the range of microscopy applications. Yet this need for space has to be met by an acoustic enclosure construction which should fit even in smaller laboratories.

The JPK Acoustic Enclosure consists of two pieces, so that it can be taken apart for transport and fits through standard door frames (as little as 800 mm wide). When installed, both parts join together utilizing an overlapping joint to ensure maximum acoustic noise damping. Heating elements keep the enclosure at constant temperature. Using an adjustable air flow, the entire setup including AFM, optical components and more can be quickly adjusted to the desired temperature. The air flow is equally distributed in the enclosure ensuring a homogeneous temperature. The advanced design of the installation allows AFM scanning while keeping the heating turned on. For adjustments of the AFM or an optical microscope, the small doors on the front can be used leading to no more than 0.1 K temperature drop.

To meet the requirements of laboratories with biosafety level 1 the acoustic enclosure can be wiped clean on the outside as well as on the inside. The surface is easy to clean and inert to disinfectants. In order to allow working with high-end optical detectors it is possible to darken the front and side windows completely so that no light from the outside enters. Four conveniently placed openings serve as lead throughs for cables to the outside of the enclosure. Maximum acoustic isolation is achieved by sealing those openings again after installation.

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