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:
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 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.
Piezo Stages are used in a variety of scientific instrumentation for life sciences. Nanopositioning systems provide accurate, fast, and repeatable motion that enable high-throughput data acquisition and processing. With the advancement in microscopy techniques such as super resolution microscopy nanopositioners have become a necessary component for z-stacks, sample scanning, autofocus, and cell tracking. nPoint provides a variety of piezo stages for microscopy with single axis travel of up to 1mm. View Products
As miniaturization continues to be of importance, nanopositioners are important to the production, development, and inspection of silicon wafers. Piezo stages are in the data storage industry to characterize HDD recording heads and can be used as part of the production process. nPoint systems have been used in wafer inspection, mask alignment, and lithography. View Products
Piezo stages are an integral part of many modern optical systems. The precision and speed of the nanopositioner allows the movement of an optic for a multitude of s. Tip/tilt stages provide the ability to scan or steer a laser beam. Many interferometers incorporate piezo stages for phase shifting and scanning purposes. nPoint’s systems have been used for image dithering for HD surveillance imaging as well telescopes and next generation satellites. View Products
nPoint piezo stages have been traditionally used as closed-loop scanners for AFMs. Closed-loop flexure stages offer extremely low out-of-plane motion, no piezo drift, exceptional scanning linearity, longer travel ranges, and measurement precision. Nanpositioning stages are used in nanoindentation when precision positioning and scanning are paramount. Many national labs and academic institutions use nPoint piezo stages for precision positioning of samples for materials research studies. View Products
With continued advancement of fiber optics, nanopositioning stages have become more critical to fiber alignment. nPoints piezo stages provide the ability to precisely align the fibers with speed and precision for optimal coupling. nPoint’s controllers are capable of integration of algorithms which can find the optimal position of the fibers with the use of the optical signal. The nPCube piezo stage combined with the LC.403 controller can be used to achieve economical high-speed photonics alignment. View Products