The TMC STACIS® III Advanced Active Vibration Cancellation System

TMC‘s STACIS® III is a sophisticated active vibration cancellation system that uses state-of-the-art piezoelectric actuators, sophisticated inertial vibration sensors, and advanced control algorithms. The system cancels vibration in real time through constant measurement of floor activity and then filters out floor motion through expansion and contraction of piezoelectric actuators.

STACIS was initially developed to separate metrology, precision microlithography, and inspection equipment in sophisticated semiconductor factories, but now it has become the industry standard for highly sensitive instruments in noisy environments. The control system also features DC-2020, a new, improved digital controller. In addition, it includes a new dual-core processor, and Ethernet and USB serial ports on both the front and rear panels to provide users with a contemporary, easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI).

STACIS does not have the limitations of air vibration isolation systems as it is relatively stiffer than air isolators. The absence of “soft” suspension is another key feature of this advanced system. STACIS is different from active air systems and can be placed underneath a tool featuring an integrated active air isolation system. This approach enables full optimization of both the systems.

With the exclusive serial design and proprietary high-force piezoelectric technology, STACIS® III has a broad active bandwidth ranging from 0.6Hz to 150Hz and unprecedented vibration cancellation at 1-3Hz.

STACIS has been deployed successfully across the globe. It is suitable for instruments that are sensitive to vibrations. STACIS® system on “risers” when deployed under a customized TMC Quiet Island® subfloor platform can support an eBeam lithography tool in a 36” tall raised floor.

Features and Benefits

The main features of the STACIS® III piezoelectric active vibration cancellation system are as follows:

  • 6 degree-of-freedom active hard mount design, without soft air suspension
  • Improves throughput, quality and yield
  • Utilizes STACIS® technology to cancel vibration through piezoelectric actuators
  • New, improved DC-2020 digital controller provides user-friendly GUI
  • Rugged control system eliminates the need for scheduled re-tuning
  • Point-of-use solution can be used with all internal tool vibration isolation equipment
  • Tool vibration criteria are met as vibration levels increase over time
  • Allows older and noisier floors to accommodate advanced tools
  • Digital controller with PC-based GUI
  • Vibration isolation begins at 0.6Hz, with 40% to 70% isolation at 1Hz
  • Active bandwidth, 0.6Hz to 150Hz
  • Provides greater than 90% isolation at 2Hz and higher, vertical and horizontal
  • Reduces fab floor construction expenses and makes it possible to install tools in higher vibration environments
  • Can be used with different floor heights and sub-floor geometries in fabs
  • RoHS compliant version also available
  • Recommended by many tool manufacturers


The STACIS® III piezoelectric active vibration cancellation system is used in the following applications:

  • Failure analysis labs
  • Semiconductor fabs
  • Nanofabrication facilities
  • Nanotechnology research
  • Materials research


The specifications of the STACIS® III system are given in the following table:

Performance Specifications
Active degrees of freedom 6
Active bandwidth 0.6 to 150 Hz
Natural frequency Passive elastomer. 18 Hz
Effective active resonant frequency: 0.5 Hz
Isolation at 1.0 Hz 40% - 70%
Isolation at 2.0 Hz and above 90% or better
Settling time after a 10 lb (4.5 kg) step input (10:1 reduction) 0.3 sec
Internal noise <0.1 nm RMS
Operating load range per isolator (different passive mounts required) Isolator overload safety factor 400 - 4,500 lb
(182 - 2,045 kg)
Number of isolators 3 or 4 typical
Stiffness (1,000 lb/454 kg mass) (typical middle capacity isolator) 40,000 lb/in.
(73 x106 Wm)
Magnetic field emitted <0.02 micro -gauss broadband RMS

The isolator dimensions, environmental, and utility requirements are given in the following table:

Isolator Dimensions, Environmental & Utility Requirements
Isolator size 11.75 in. (W) x 12.5 in. (D) x 10.8 in. (H)
(300 x 320 x 275 mm)
Isolator weight 75 lb (34 kg
Controller size 19 in. (w) x 8.5 in. (D) x 1.75 in. (H)
(483 x 381 x 44 mm)
Temp., operating 50° to -F90°F (10 to 32°C)
Temp., storage -40° to 255°F (-40 to 125°C)
Humidity, operating 30- 60%
Power required 100, 120, 230 or 240 volts; 50/60 Hz; <600 watts, CE compliant
Floor displacement <480 µ in. (12 µm) below 10 Hz
Options: TMC laminated, stainless steel platforms, frames, "risers," leveling devices, earthquake restraints, and lifthoods

The key specifications of the DC-2020 controller are summarized in the following table:

DC -2020 Controller Specifications
Physical dimensions 1.75" (45 mm) H x 19' (483 mm) W x 8.5" (216 mm) D
RETMA rack mountable with optional brackets
Weight 6.3 lb. (2.9 kg)
Processor Dual core processor 150/75 MHz
Sampling rate 10 KHz
Analog outputs 16 channels
Analog inputs 16 channels
Status light Single LED
Front panel ports Serial USB 2.0
Serial Micro USB
Ethernet RJ-45
2 BNC connectors
Rear panel ports Ethernet RJ-45
Serial USB 2.0
RS -232 DB-9 legacy serial port (compatible with STACIS 2100)
User interfaces Character menu on HyperTerminal
Extended GUI on Windows -Based PC
Embedded Ethernet GUI control pages

Performance of the STACIS III System

The following graph shows the performance benefit of the STACIS® III system:

The TMC STACIS® III Advanced Active Vibration Cancellation System

STACIS® III (Piezoelectric Active Vibration Cancellation System)
STACIS® System on “risers” installed under a custom designed TMC Quiet Island® subfloor platform to support an eBeam lithography tool in a 36” tall raised floor.
A STACIS® System, incorporating a non-ferromagnetic, highly damped, aluminum platform, provides a second stage of vibration isolation for a Bruker BioSpin 600 MHz NMR Spectrometer. Photo courtesy of Bruker BioSpin and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
DC-2020 and PC-Bassed Graphical User Interface
STACIS® supporting the end chambers of a prototype LIGO interferometer at the California Institute of Technology. These are the most precise instruments ever made – capable of measuring distances of less than 10-18 meters.

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