What are the benefits of flexure stages?
Flexure stages employ a non-conventional ‘flexure bearing’ mechanism in the system, in which the moving platform is linked to a static base by flexure hinges. The platform’s movement, driven by piezo actuators, is guided by the flexure mechanism. The guiding motion is generated by elastic deformation of the flexure material. Therefore, the linkage is friction and stiction free, resulting in smooth motion. Optimization of the flexure design mechanism results in high stiffness and load capacity while simultaneously neutralizing the parasitics errors, such as out-of-plan motion, titling errors and crosstalk.
nPoint flexure designs employ a multiple amplification factor to the piezo actuator’s travel range enabling shorter piezos to be used for greater travel ranges. Stages can be built smaller and more economically than without the advantage of flexure amplification. Flexures do not experience frictional wear and operate within the elastic range of the material eliminating the need for routine maintenance while performance remains consistent over the operational lifetime of the stage.