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Applications and Examples of Nanopositioning

The role of a nanopositioner is to move to or position a probe, part, tool, sample, or device at some desired position with nanometer accuracy and repeatability. The positioner should also be able to resolve adjacent positions that are separated by less than a nanometer. The applications of nanopositioning devices fall in to two broad categories, position-and-hold or scanning:

Position-and-Hold

In a position-and-hold mode, the goal is to put an object at a precise position and require it to remain there for extended periods of time. The requirements of the positioner in this mode are for high thermal stability and for very low long-term drift in the electronics. nPoint designs its positioning products with unique features to minimize thermal effects. Additionally, nPoint's ultra low-noise sensor and driver circuit assure that drift from the commanded position is very low, within nanometer positional accuracy over many hours.

Scanning

Scanning applications require optimization for travel speed and precision. The positioner must be able to reach the required position rapidly and settle down in a short time. The resonant frequency of the mechanical system and control ability of the controller determines the speed with which this can be accomplished. nPoint products achieve a high bandwidth with high resonant frequency and advanced control algorithms, which guarantees maximum scanning speed and minimum scanning error.

Currently, nPoint components are being used across a variety of applications. Applications featured here are only a sample.

Application Examples

Cell Tracking
Dithering for image processing
Nanoalignment
Nanoindentation
Nanolithography
Nanometrology
Optical Trapping
Precision Sample Positioning
Single Particle Tracking