QNP-L Series Single-Axis Linear Piezo Nanopositioning Stages


Design Features

  • Travel ranges from 100 µm to 600 µm available
  • Long device lifetime
  • High-precision, frictionless flexure guidance system
  • Superior positioning resolution and linearity to 0.007% with direct-metrology capacitive sensor options
  • Mounting compatibility with other QNP-series piezo nanopositioners
  • Open-loop and vacuum versions
Aerotech’s QNP™-series of piezo nanopositioning stages offer sub-nanometer-level performance in a compact, high-stiffness package. A variety of travel (100 µm to 600 µm) and feedback options make this the ideal solution for applications ranging from microscopy to optics alignment.

High Quality in a Compact Package

The QNP piezo stages are guided by precision flexures that are optimized using finite element analysis to ensure high-stiffness and long device life. The resulting design offers outstanding stiffness and resonant frequency enabling high process throughput and fast closed-loop response. Furthermore, these stages have been designed to provide excellent geometric performance (straightness and angular errors) while at the same time minimizing the overall stage package size.

High-resolution and Positioning AccuracyQNP-L-Figure-1

All of the QNP piezo stages have the option of closed-loop feedback using a unique capacitive sensor design that allows for sub-nanometer resolution and high linearity. The capacitive sensors measure the output of the positioning carriage directly enabling superior accuracy and repeatability.

Ultra-Precision Control

When coupled with Aerotech’s Q-series controllers and drives, the QNP piezo nanopositioning stages demonstrate sub-nanometer positioning resolution and in-position stability (jitter), and high-positioning bandwidth. Software options such as Aerotech’s Dynamic Controls Toolbox and Motion Designer packages provide a host of 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.

Automatic parameter and calibration identification is accomplished using Aerotech’s FlashConfig feature. The stage is automatically identified and all operational parameters including axis calibration data are uploaded into the controller ensuring safe, accurate and true “plug-and-play” operation.

Learn more about our controls and software HERE.

Design Flexibility

Aerotech’s QNP piezo stages are available with capacitance sensor feedback or without feedback (open-loop). Open-loop provides a cost-effective option for applications where compact size, high-dynamics and sub-nanometer positioning resolution are required, but absolute positioning accuracy and repeatability are not required. Open-loop designs can also be used where the piezo position is controlled via an external feedback source (interferometer, vision system, photodetector, etc.).

An optional mounting plate provides direct mounting to English or metric breadboard optical tables. The QNP-series also includes XY and Z stages in which common travels mount together with adapter plates.

All QNP piezo stages are available in vacuum-prepared versions upon request.

Get our complete Piezo Engineering Tutorial HERE.


Mechanical Specifications

Closed-Loop Travel 100 µm 250 µm 500 µm
Open-Loop Travel, -30 to +150 V(1) 120 µm 300 µm 600 µm
Resolution(2) Closed-Loop
(Integrated Feedback)
0.30 nm 0.50 nm 0.90 nm
Open-Loop 0.15 nm 0.20 nm 0.40 nm
Linearity(3)(4) 0.01% 0.01% 0.007%
Bidirectional Repeatability(5) 1 nm 1 nm 3 nm
Pitch/Yaw 6 µrad (1.2 arc sec) 6 µrad (1.2 arc sec) 12 µrad (2.5 arc sec)
Stiffness (In Direction of Motion)(6) 1.25 N/µm 0.40 N/µm 0.27 N/µm
Unloaded Resonant Frequency(6) 1300 Hz 475 Hz 350 Hz
Resonant Frequency (50 Gram Load)(6) 650 Hz 325 Hz 260 Hz
Max Payload(7) 1 kg
Maximum Acceleration (Unloaded)(8) 900 m/s2 420 m/s2 210 m/s2
Stage Mass 0.06 kg 0.09 kg 0.14 kg
Material Anodized Aluminum(9)
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 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. On-axis loading listed.
  8. Requires the selection of an appropriate amplifier to achieve listed values.
  9. External elements are anodized aluminum. Some internal components are stainless steel. Other materials upon request.
  10. Specifications are measured centered and at a height of approximately 15 mm above the output carriage.

Electrical Specifications

Drive System Piezo Multi-Layer Stack Actuator
Feedback Closed Loop: Integrated Capacitive Sensor (-C)
Open Loop: None (-)
Voltage Range -30 V to +150 V
Piezo Stack Capacitance(1) 1.6 µF 2.3 µF 6.4 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.
  • QNP-L With Adapter Plate


Ordering Information

QNP-L Series Single-Axis Piezo Nanopositioning Stages

QNP40L-100 QNP40L-100 single-axis linear piezo nanopositioning stage, 100 µm CL Travel
QNP50L-250 QNP50L-250 single-axis linear piezo nanopositioning stage, 250 µm CL Travel
QNP60L-500 QNP60L-500 single-axis linear piezo nanopositioning stage, 500 µm CL Travel

Feedback (Optional)

-C Capacitance sensor feedback

Mounting Plate (Optional)

-MP Mounting plate for English and metric optical breadboard tables

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.

Adapter Plates (to be ordered as a separate line item)

AP-QNP40L-100 Adapter plate, QNP40L-100
AP-QNP50L-250 Adapter plate, QNP50L-250 to 40L-100/50L-250
AP-QNP60L-500 Adapter plate, QNP60L-500 to 40L-100/50L-250/60L-500