QNP-Z series

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Aerotech has introduced its QNP-Z series of piezo nanopositioning stages, which provide the resolution, linearity, repeatability, and high dynamics required for demanding applications from microscopy to optics alignment.

The stages have a resolution of 0.15nm, linearity of 0.007 per cent, and repeatability of 1nm. With high dynamics (resonant frequency and stiffness) users can achieve higher throughput in exacting processes, while a variety of travels (100μm to 600μm), feedback options, and vacuum versions add to the series' flexibility.

QNP-Z piezo stages are guided by precision flexures, optimised using finite element analysis. The resulting design offers what the company says is outstanding stiffness and resonant frequency (up to 1,050Hz) enabling high process throughput and fast closed-loop response. These stages have been designed to provide impressive geometric performance (straightness and angular errors) while at the same time minimising the overall stage package size.

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

When coupled with Aerotech’s Q-series controllers and drives, QNP piezo stages demonstrate sub-nanometre 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.

The 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-nanometre 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, such as an interferometer, vision system, or photodetector.