Components of a Nanopositioning System

Nanopositioning systems provide the opportunity to enable many advanced applications. Their use has spread from AFMs to optics and multiple new technologies. While selecting a system can be complex at times, there are three main components that work together to provide motion on the nanoscale. Each component will briefly be discussed and can be studied […]

Piezoelectric Actuators Used in Flexure Stages

nPoint uses piezoelectric stack actuators to provide motion to its flexure stages. These stacks are often referred to as “piezos” and this is what puts the “piezo” in “piezo stage.” Actuators are stacked with multiple piezo tiles to provide larger displacement and hence the term “piezo stack”.  The material used for the piezo tiles is […]

OEM and Custom Piezo Stage Development

The goal at nPoint is to meet the specifications set forth by each customer. In many cases, this can be done with nanopositioning systems that have previously been designed and manufactured. There are however, many applications where a custom stage is necessary, such as a component of an OEM product. nPoint works with a variety […]

Parallel vs Serial Kinematic Flexure Stage Design

When designing piezo flexure stages two examples that dominate mechanical design include parallel and serial kinematics. At nPoint we employ both strategies to meet customer requirements. Testing and calibration are always done with external interferometric sensors regardless of flexure design and feedback sensor choice. Specifications tested in this manner are actual, not theoretical sensor or […]


How Fast Can I Scan With A Piezo Stage?

Elements of Scan Speed 1. The Loaded Mechanical Resonance of the Piezo Stage2. Use of Controls Such as Notch Filters and PID Settings3. Electrical Current of The Piezo Driver / Controller A typical nPoint nanopositioner consists of a flexure-guided sample platform that is driven by a stack actuator. The motion of the platform is sensed […]


Deciding Between Open-Loop and Closed-Loop Piezo Stages

The term “closed-loop” in nanopositioning indicates that a sensor is used to monitor the position of the stage in real time. These readings feed back to the controller to provide error correction for the system. Closed-loop control ensures that the nanopositioner reaches the desired commanded position. nPoint uses interferometric calibration for each stage to confirm […]

NPXY100-126 Nanopositioner

Benefits of Piezo Flexure Stages

Flexure stages employ a flexure bearing mechanism as a foundation for motion control. A moving platform is connected to the static base of the stage by flexure hinges. The moving platform is driven by piezo actuators to achieve desired motion. Guiding motion is provided by the deformation of the flexure material. This linkage is virtually […]

Nanopositioning Stage Operating Conditions

Consideration of the environmental conditions where a nanopositioning system will operate is important to achieve the desired result for a given application. These conditions include: Vacuum (HV, UHV, etc.) Magnetic Fields Temperature Moisture External Vibration Piezo stages can be made from various materials such as invar, stainless steel, titanium and aluminum. Each has advantages; however […]

Resonance Frequency of a Piezo Flexure Stage

The first (or lowest) resonance frequency per axis is typically specified for a nanopositioner. The resonance frequency could be of the mode along the motion axis or along other axes including rotation and other complex modes. In general, the higher the resonance frequency of a system, the higher the stability and the wider working bandwidth […]