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Aerotech: Nanopositioners for extreme precision applications

With resolution to 0.15 nm, linearity to 0.007% and repeatability to 2 nm, Aerotech’s QNP-XY series piezo nanopositioning stages provide the resolution, linearity, repeatability, and high dynamics required for demanding applications from microscopy to optics alignment.

Aerotech’s QNP-XY series piezo nanopositioning stages
Aerotech’s QNP-XY series piezo nanopositioning stages

With the highest dynamics (resonant frequency and stiffness) of any other comparable stage in size and travel, 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 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 885 Hz) enabling high process throughput and fast closed-loop response. Furthermore, the integrated XY package minimizes stage stack height and moving mass, resulting in superior static and dynamic multi-axis performance.

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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