Nanometer-Level Performance. Powerful, Easy-to-Use Controls.

A Quantum Leap in Nanopositioning

Aerotech’s piezo stages and controllers make positioning to nanometers incredibly easy. Q-series™ controllers bring high-end functionality with many advanced tools. Our QNP™ stages offer high-dynamics, sub-nanometer resolution and nanometer-level linearity for higher throughput processes without sacrificing precision.

 

 

Piezo Nanopositioners

Design Features

  • High-precision, frictionless flexure guidance system
  • Proprietary piezo multi-layer stack actuator
  • Closed-loop travel options of 100, 250 and 500 μm
  • High-positioning resolution and linearity with direct-metrology capacitive sensor options
  • Mounting compatibility with other QNP-series piezo nanopositioners
  • Open-loop and vacuum versions
  • Read more: QNP-L, QNP-XY, QNP-Z, QNPHD, and QNP2-100-XYA

 

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Aerotech’s QNP™-series of piezo nanopositioning stages offer sub-nanometer-level performance in a compact, high-stiffness package. A variety of travel (100 µm to 600 µm) and feedback options make this the ideal solution for applications ranging from microscopy to optics alignment.

 

High Quality in a Compact Package

The QNP piezo stages are guided by precision flexures that are optimized using finite element analysis to ensure high-stiffness and long device life. The resulting design offers outstanding stiffness and resonant frequency enabling high process throughput and fast closed-loop response. Furthermore, 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 of the QNP piezo stages have the option of closed-loop feedback using a unique capacitive sensor design that allows 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 of controllers and drives, the QNP piezo nanopositioning 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.

 

Automatic parameter and calibration identification are accomplished using Aerotech’s FlashConfig feature. The stage is automatically identified and all operational parameters including axis calibration data are uploaded into the controller ensuring safe, accurate and true “plug-and-play” operation.

 

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.).

 

An optional mounting plate provides direct mounting to English or metric breadboard optical tables. The QNP-series include the -L, -XY, and -Z stages in which common travels mount together with adapter plates.

 

All QNP piezo stages are available in vacuum-prepared versions upon request.

 

Controllers and Drives

 

 

Ensemble® QLAB Stand-Alone, Multi-Axis, Piezo Motion Controller

The Ensemble QLAB™ is a high-performance multi-axis nanopositioning piezo stage controller for controlling up to four axes of motion. Using the processing power of a dual-core 456 MHz, double-precision, floating-point DSP, the QLAB provides exceptional performance for a wide variety of applications. The front panel interface allows an operator to quickly execute simple operations such as jogging and moving to fixed positions. For more complex operations, the Ensemble QLAB has onboard memory for storing programs that can be accessed from the front panel or through remote control.

 

Ensemble® QDe High-Performance, Networked, Desktop Piezo Drive

The Ensemble QDe™ is a high-performance desktop nanopositioning piezo drive designed for seamless use with the Ensemble family of drives and controllers. The QDe connects to any Ensemble controller network enabling coordinated motion between piezo stages and servo axes at much higher rates than other controllers or drives. This power and versatility make the Ensemble QDe ideal for single or multi-axis applications ranging from fundamental scientific research to advanced OEM machine systems.

 

Ensemble® QL and QLe Networked, Panel-Mount Piezo Drive

The Ensemble QL/QLe™ panel-mount nanopositioning piezo drive family is designed for seamless use with the Ensemble family of drives and controllers. The QL/QLe connects to any Ensemble controller network enabling coordinated motion between piezo stages and servo axes at much higher rates than other controllers or drives. This power, versatility, and affordability make the Ensemble QL/QLe drives ideal for applications ranging from the most demanding fundamental scientific research to advanced OEM machine systems.

 

Ndrive QL and QLe Digital, Panel-Mount Piezo Drive

The Ndrive QL/QLe™ is a family of panel-mount nanopositioning piezo drives designed to be used with the Automation 3200 (A3200) motion controller. The A3200 is the controller of choice in many markets such as semiconductor, data storage, medical device manufacturing, laser processing, and metrology. The Ndrive QL and Ndrive QLe drives enable coordinated motion between piezo stages and servo axes at much higher rates than other controller/drive products.