8 June 2015

Z-Axis piezo nanopositioners for extreme precision applications

  • Travel ranges from 100 μm to 600 μm
  • High-precision, frictionless flexure guidance system
  • Positioning resolution to 0.15 nm, linearity to 0.007%, and repeatability to 1 nm
  • Open-loop and vacuum versions

Aerotech QNP-Z series piezo nanopositioning stages join Aerotech’s growing piezo stage family that includes the QNP-L linear and QNP-XY stages. The QNP-Z series provides the resolution, linearity, repeatability, and high dynamics required for the most demanding applications from microscopy to optics alignment. With resolution to 0.15 nm, linearity to 0.007%, and repeatability to 1 nm, nanometer-level precision is assured. With high dynamics (resonant frequency and stiffness) users can achieve higher throughput in exacting processes. A variety of travels (100 μm to 600 μm), feedback options, and vacuum versions add to the exceptional versatility of this stage series.

High Quality in a Compact Package

QNP-Z piezo stages are guided by precision flexures that are optimized using finite element analysis. The resulting design offers outstanding stiffness and resonant frequency (up to 1050 Hz) enabling high process throughput and fast closed-loop response. These stages have been designed to provide excellent geometric performance (straightness and angular errors) while at the same time minimizing the overall stage package size.

High-Resolution and Positioning Accuracy

All QNP piezo stages offer optional closed-loop feedback using a unique capacitive sensor design for sub-nanometer resolution and high linearity. The capacitive sensors measure the output of the positioning carriage directly, enabling superior accuracy and repeatability.

Ultra-Precision Control

When coupled with Aerotech’s Q-series controllers and drives, QNP piezo stages demonstrate sub-nanometer positioning resolution and in-position stability (jitter), and high-positioning bandwidth. Software options such as Aerotech’s Dynamic Controls Toolbox and Motion Designer packages provide a host of advanced yet easy-to-use tools such as Learning Control, Harmonic Cancellation, and Command Shaping, providing improved tracking errors and faster step-and-settle times.

Design Flexibility

Aerotech’s QNP piezo stages are available with capacitance sensor feedback or without feedback (open-loop). Open-loop provides a cost-effective option for applications where compact size, high-dynamics, and sub-nanometer positioning resolution are required, but absolute positioning accuracy and repeatability are not required. Open-loop designs can also be used where the piezo position is controlled via an external feedback source (interferometer, vision system, photodetector, etc.).

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