The low power consumption of MicroE encoders aids in the thermal stability in a vacuum, with compact sensor designs that fit into very tight spaces and work with both linear and rotary gratings (scales).  Vacuum versions are vented and rated for 10-8 Torr.

The Challenge

Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEM) need high precision linear and rotary axes that operate both outside and inside high-vacuum environments.  Ideally, a single encoder type could be used throughout the system to simplify integration for the manufacturer.

The Solution

MicroE Mercury Series encoders’ patented PurePrecision optical technology results in the most compact sensors in their performance class, and are designed so the same sensors can be paired with either linear or rotary glass gratings (scales).  Several MicroE encoders are available in both atmospheric versions and high-vacuum versions that are vented and constructed with vacuum compatible materials designed with a 10-8 Torr vacuum rating.  In this case, the M2000 and vacuum-rated equivalent M2000V sensors were chosen for their small size, high resolution, and digital signal output.

The Benefit

The compact design of Mercury Series encoders results in a significant reduction in size and mass of each axis, while the low power consumption of the M2000V design aids the thermal suitability in the vacuum.  M2000/M2000V kit encoders are smaller, higher performance, faster to install, and easier to set up and align than any other encoder. The tiny sensor fits into very tight spaces and works in both linear and rotary applications. The M2000V sensor is vented, constructed with vacuum-compatible materials, and designed for a 48-hour bake out at 150°C. Color coded bare leads are provided for customer termination at their vacuum chamber feed-thru.


Sensor Dimensions20.6 x 12.7 x 8.4 mm
InterfaceDigital A-quad-B with index
Grating Period20µm
System Resolution5µm to 78nm
Maximum Speed7.2 m/sec
Sensor Weight2.7g
Travel RequiredVarious linear and rotary
Power dissipation in head100mW typical