Precision Piezo Nanopositioning Stage for MicroscopesS. Himmelstein | June 02, 2017
Aerotech’s QFOCUS® QF-50 piezo nanopositioning stage is designed for high-performance microscope objective and optics positioning. It offers 400 μm closed loop and 450 μm open loop travel, high speed, 0.01% linearity, sub-nanometer resolution, and 4 nm bidirectional repeatability.
The QF-50 accommodates optical instruments and next-generation laser micromachining applications. Due to a high-stiffness mechanical design, the QF-50 can outperform competitive piezo scanner offerings with larger, higher numerical aperture (NA) objectives and is ideal for optical positioning applications requiring high precision and throughput coupled with long travels.
The nanopositioning stage is guided by precision flexures optimized using finite element analysis for outstanding stiffness and resonant frequency to enable high process throughput and fast closed-loop response. Flexure bearing design ensures improved geometric performance with straightness errors to 40 nm throughout the entire travel range.
Optional closed-loop feedback using a unique capacitive sensor design allows for sub-nanometer resolution and high linearity. Unlike foil strain gages or piezoresistive sensors, capacitive sensors provide a direct measurement of the positioning carriage for superior accuracy and repeatability.
When coupled with Aerotech’s Q-series controllers and drives, the QF-50 demonstrates sub-nanometer positioning resolution and in-position stability (jitter) while maintaining high positioning bandwidth. Advanced software options, such as Dynamic Controls Toolbox and Motion Designer, provide a variety of highly-effective, easy-to-use tools including Iterative Learning Control, Harmonic Cancellation, and Command Shaping, providing improved tracking errors and faster step-and-settle times.
The QF-50 is available with threaded adapters to fit most microscopes and objectives. The microscope turret mounting allows fast and simple positioning at any desired orientation. In addition, tapped holes on the stage body provide alternative mounting for custom interfaces in machines or other optical instruments. The QF-50 is available with a clear aperture of 29 mm as standard.