QFOCUS QF50Z Single-Axis, Microscope Objective, Piezo Nanopositioning Stage


Design Features

  • 400 μm closed-loop travel; 450 μm open-loop travel
  • Outstanding step-and-settle and scanning performance
  • Designed for use with larger, high-NA objectives
  • Superior positioning resolution and linearity
  • Mounting flexibility
  • 29 mm diameter clear aperture

Aerotech’s QFOCUS® QF-50 piezo nanopositioning stage enables microscope objective and optics positioning at a large travel (400 μm CL, 450 μm OL) without sacrificing speed or nanometer-level performance.

The QF-50 is designed to accommodate newer optical instruments and next-generation laser micromachining applications. Due to a high-stiffness mechanical design, the QF-50 can outperform competitive piezo scanner offerings with larger, higher numerical aperture (NA) objectives. The QF-50 is ideal for demanding optical positioning applications requiring high precision and throughput coupled with long travels.

Precision Design

The QFOCUS QF-50 piezo stage is guided by precision flexures that are optimized using finite element analysis. The resulting design offers outstanding stiffness and resonant frequency enabling high process throughput and fast closed-loop response.

In addition to designing for high-dynamics, meticulous care was taken in the QF-50 flexure bearing design allowing for unrivaled geometric performance with straightness errors to 40 nm throughout the entire travel range.

Direct Metrology Feedback

The QF-50 piezo stages have the option of closed-loop feedback (-C) using a unique capacitive sensor design that allows for sub-nanometer resolution and high linearity. Unlike foil strain gages or piezoresistive sensors, capacitive sensors provide a direct measurement of the positioning carriage enabling superior accuracy and repeatability.

Flexible and Precise Control

When coupled with Aerotech’s Q-series controllers and drives, the QF-50 demonstrates sub-nanometer positioning resolution and in-position stability (jitter) while maintaining high-positioning bandwidth. A host of software options (Dynamic Controls Toolbox and Motion Designer) provide many advanced yet easy-to-use tools such as Learning Control, Harmonic Cancellation, and Command Shaping, providing improved tracking errors and faster step-and-settle times. OEM drive options are also available.

Mounting Flexibility

The QFOCUS QF-50 is available with threaded adapters to fit most microscopes and objectives. The microscope turret mounting allows fast and simple positioning of the QF-50 at any desired orientation. In addition, tapped holes on the stage body provide alternative mounting for custom interfaces in machines or other optical instruments. The QF-50 is available with a clear aperture of 29 mm as standard. Custom stage designs, travels, and threaded adapters are available.



Mechanical Specifications

Closed-Loop Travel 400 μm
Open-Loop Travel, -30 to +150 V(1) 450 μm
Resolution(2) Closed-Loop 0.9 nm
Open-Loop 0.4 nm
Linearity(3,4) 0.01%
Bidirectional Repeatability(5) 4 nm
Pitch 15 μrad (3 arc sec)
Yaw 15 μrad (3 arc sec)
Straightness (X, Y) 40 nm
Stiffness (in direction of motion)(6) 0.41 N/μm
Unloaded Resonant Frequency(6) 400 Hz
Resonant Frequency (150 g load)(6,7) 180 Hz
Max Payload(8) 1 kg
Maximum Acceleration (Unloaded)(9) 235 m/s2
Moving Mass (No Objective) 75 g
Stage Mass(10) 0.21 kg
Material Anodized Aluminum/Brass(11)
MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) 30,000 Hours
  1. Value ±10%.
  2. See Piezo Engineering reference section 4.2 for description of resolution.
  3. Certified with each stage (closed-loop feedback models only).
  4. See Piezo Engineering reference section 4.1 for description of linearity and accuracy specifications.
  5. Specified as a 1 sigma (standard deviation) value (closed-loop feedback models only). See Piezo Engineering reference section 4.3 for description of bidirectional repeatability.
  6. Values ±20%.
  7. Loaded resonance can vary as a function of objective size/geometry.
  8. On-axis loading listed.
  9. Max acceleration listed is the stage mechanical limitation. Achievable acceleration is a function of amplifier selection and move parameters.
  10. Stage mass includes microscope adapter (-MA1) and objective adapter (-OA1).
  11. External elements are anodized aluminum. Brass used for threaded adapters. Some stainless steel components are used in the internal construction. Other materials upon request.

Electrical Specifications

Drive System Piezo Multi-Layer Stack Actuator
Feedback Closed Loop: Capacitive Sensor (-C)
Open Loop: None (-)
Maximum Voltage -30 V to +150 V
Piezo Stack Capacitance(1) 6.8 µF
  1. Value ±20%

Recommended Controller

    Ensemble Ensemble QLAB
    Ensemble QDe
    Ensemble QLe
    Ensemble QL
    A3200 Ndrive QLe
    Ndrive QL
    1. Unless noted the QLAB, QDe, or QLe drives are required to achieve the listed specifications. Contact Aerotech for specifications when used with the QL drives.


    Ordering Information

    QFOCUS™ QF-50 Piezo Nanopositioning Stage

    Travel (Required)

    -400 400 µm closed-loop travel, 460 µm open-loop travel

    Feedback (Optional)

    -C Capacitance sensor feedback

    Microscope Adapter (Optional)

    -MA1 W0.8 x 1/36" microscope adapter
    -MA2 M19 x 0.75 microscope adapter
    -MA3 M25 x 0.75 microscope adapter
    -MA4 M26 x 0.75 microscope adapter
    -MA5 M27 x 0.75 microscope adapter
    -MA6 M28 x 0.75 microscope adapter
    -MA7 M32 x 0.75 microscope adapter
    -MA8 M26 x 1/36" microscope adapter

    Objective Adapter (Optional)

    -OA1 W0.8 x 1/36" objective adapter
    -OA2 M19 x 0.75 objective adapter
    -OA3 M25 x 0.75 objective adapter
    -OA4 M26 x 0.75 objective adapter
    -OA5 M27 x 0.75 objective adapter
    -OA6 M28 x 0.75 objective adapter
    -OA7 M32 x 0.75 objective adapter
    -OA8 M26 x 1/36" objective adapter

    Integration (Required)

    Aerotech offers both standard and custom integration services to help you get your system fully operational as quickly as possible. The following standard integration options are available for this system. Please consult Aerotech if you are unsure what level of integration is required, or if you desire custom integration support with your system.
    -TAS Integration - Test as system
    Testing, integration, and documentation of a group of components as a complete system that will be used together (ex: drive, controller, and stage). This includes parameter file generation, system tuning, and documentation of the system configuration.
    -TAC Integration - Test as components
    Testing and integration of individual items as discrete components that ship together. This is typically used for spare parts, replacement parts, or items that will not be used together. These components may or may not be part of a larger system.