What are the components of a nanopositioner?

An nPoint motion control or positioning system is comprised of four elements:

  • Piezo actuators providing motion
  • Mechanical translation mechanism (stage)
  • Position sensor
  • Control electronics to maintain the desired position

To realize positioning at nanometer levels of precision, these four elements need to be carefully designed and optimized. The desired attributes of a nanopositioner are extremely high resolution, accuracy, stability, and fast response. Conventional motion control technologies are unable to meet these requirements and provide nanometer positioning.

The key factors are accurate position sensing, careful mechanical design, and closed-loop control of the motion. nPoint nanopositioning devices have capacitance position sensors, piezo actuators, and flexure motion control integrated into a single system. Stages that control motion in one, two or three axes are available, with virtually zero cross-talk between motion directions.

nPoint technology provides a wide range of motion, combined with precise location and high scan speed. nPoint features a patented use of materials for a unique combination of high-load capacity and high-speed response. nPoint employs Finite Element Analysis in the development of these ultra precise positioning systems which are based on flexure-guiding mechanisms. Flexure-guiding mechanisms achieve a pure, independent, single-axis (x-, y- or z-) motion with minimal parasitic errors.

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