Products in the News

Original Press Release

Precision Piezo Stage for Microscope Objective and Optics Positioning

Press release date: May 31, 2017

400 μm closed-loop travel; 450 μm open-loop travel

Outstanding step-and-settle and scanning performance

Designed for use with larger, high numerical-aperture objectives

29 mm diameter clear aperture

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. The QF-50 is ideal for optical positioning applications requiring high precision and throughput coupled with long travels.

Precision Design

The QFOCUS QF-50 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. Meticulous care was taken in the QF-50 flexure bearing design to ensure unrivaled geometric performance with straightness errors to 40 nm throughout the entire travel range.

Direct Metrology Feedback

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.

Flexible and Precise Control

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. OEM drive options are also available.

Mounting Flexibility

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. Custom stage designs, travels, and threaded adapters are available.

For further information, please contact Steve McLane at 412-967-6854 (direct), or via e-mail at smclane@aerotech.com.

In addition, the QFOCUS QF-50 data sheet is available at: https://www.aerotech.com/product-catalog/piezo-nanopositioners/qfocus-qf-50.aspx