Key Industry Expertise

  • Material Selection
  • Surface Preparation
  • Elimination of Virtual Leaks
  • Lubricant Selection
  • Cleaning
  • Bakeout
  • Handling
  • Thermal Management
  • Magnetic Field Control

The Aerotech Vacuum Advantage

Aerotech’s vast application experience, unmatched product scope, and extensive engineering capabilities make us the partner of choice for vacuum-compatible motion systems. Since its inception, Aerotech has designed and manufactured the highest-performance motion control and positioning systems available and our vacuum-compatible platforms are no exception. Aerotech has been building standard and custom vacuum systems for more than 30 years. Our vacuum application experience covers military/aerospace, research, semiconductor, and materials processing. Typical applications include:
  • EUV Lithography
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • Ion-Beam Profiling
  • Deposition
  • Satellite Component Testing
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
  • Ion Implantation
  • Optics Polishing
  • Scientific Research
  • X-Ray Tomography
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Custom Systems:

Aerotech: The Partner of Choice for Vacuum Motion Platforms

Vacuum Engineering Expertise

Our extensive testing capabilities provide full qualification of motion systems prior to shipment. Aerotech is a highly-integrated motion system supplier — we are able to fully optimize the complete motion system. For high-dynamic systems, Aerotech has several active cooling options that are based on thermal modeling and practical experience.

For applications that are sensitive to magnetic fields, Aerotech has extensive experience with methods for magnetic

Vacuum Web Page4Custom high-vacuum system with water-cooled linear motor scan axis and ball-screw-driven step axis
field shielding and containment. Aerotech’s talented and dedicated engineering staff has expertise in all core motion technology areas:
  • Precision Machine Design
  • Vibration and Controls
  • Magnetic Circuit Design
  • Power Electronics Design
  • Servo Systems
  • Software Development

Facilities for Vacuum Manufacturing

Aerotech has an extensive manufacturing facility that includes an ISO Class 6 cleanroom that is the ideal controlled environment for building UHV systems. Our machine shop is fully qualified to manufacture vacuum compatible components. We maintain a vacuum test chamber, full on-site part cleaning facilities, and fully-trained assembly and test staff.
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Aerotech's expansive ISO Class 6 cleanroom

Vacuum Staging Design Elements

A wide variety of standard Aerotech stage products are available in vacuum-prepared versions. In addition to standard platforms, Aerotech routinely manufactures custom systems designed to meet application specific needs. All of Aerotech’s vacuum-compatible motion platforms minimize pumpdown time, chamber contamination, and thermal issues. In addition, these systems can incorporate key application considerations like reduction of magnetic fields.

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High vacuum, AGR-50 rotary stage with unlimited travel

Aerotech is well versed in:

  • Material Selection
  • Surface Preparation
  • Elimination of Virtual Leaks
  • Lubricant Selection
  • Cleaning
  • Bakeout
  • Handling
  • Thermal Management
  • Magnetic Field Control
  • Packaging

Vacuum Options Available from Aerotech

Low Vacuum (VAC3) 1.0 x 10-3 1.3 x 10-3 1.3 x 10-4
High Vacuum (VAC6) 1.0 x 10-6 1.3 x 10-6 1.3 x 10-7
Ultra-High Vacuum (UHV) ≤1.0 x 10-7 ≤1.3 x 10-7 ≤1.3 x 10-8

Material Selection

Because acceptable materials vary according to vacuum level, application, operating temperature, etc., Aerotech offers a broad array of options that control Total Mass Loss (TML) and Collectible Volatile Condensable Materials (CVCM).

Lubricants: Low vapor pressure lubricants are selected to be compatible with the vacuum level and the customer’s process.
Cable Management System (CMS): CMS construction and materials typically utilize Teflon® insulated wires (MIL-C-27500) or Kapton along with specialized electrical connectors that utilize a variety of materials including PEEK™. A multitude of connectorization options are available.
Surface Finish: Surface finish options include bare aluminum, electroless nickel, stainless steel, or vacuum-compatible paint (Aeroglaze Z306).
RGA-Actual RGA plot from an XY system

Hardware: Systems use through-holes or vented stainless-steel fasteners for all blind holes.

Aerotech always works closely with our customers to ensure the system meets or exceeds outgassing requirements.

Design Elements

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Custom high-vacuum, 1 m travel, linear actuator

Thermal Management

Thermal management is key in Vacuum Web Page10vacuum systems because they cannot rely on convection for the removal of heat from the motors and bearings. Without thermal management methods, stage performance suffers and life can be reduced from that of an equivalent system operated in atmosphere. This is why Aerotech has put forth a considerable effort in the development of thermal isolation methods and passive and active cooling techniques. These techniques help to maximize conduction and radiative modes of cooling and help reduce or eliminate the effects of heat sources inside the chamber.


The design of linear and rotary servomotors is critical to vacuum system operation because they are the primary heat source. This is why Aerotech designs and builds motors to specifically address the issues associated with motors in vacuum. From special materials of construction to magnetic circuit design, Aerotech servomotors are optimized for minimal outgassing, high force/torque per unit volume, and long life.

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UHV Nema 23 (BMS60) rotary motor


Actual magnetic field measurement over a 300 mm diameter target zone
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