QNP-Z Series Single-Axis, Z 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 offers 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 Accuracy

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 the -L and -XY stages in which common travels mount together with adapter plates.

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


Mechanical Specifications(1)

Closed-Loop Travel 100 µm 250 µm 500 µm
Open-Loop Travel, -30 to +150 V(2) 140 µm 300 µm 600 µm
Resolution(3) Closed-Loop 0.30 nm 0.50 nm 0.90 nm
Open-Loop 0.15 nm 0.20 nm 0.40 nm
Linearity(4,5) 0.01% 0.01% 0.007%
Bidirectional Repeatabililty(6) 1 nm 1 nm 3 nm
Pitch/Roll/Yaw 15 µrad (3 arc sec) 25 µrad (5 arc sec) 39 µrad (8 arc sec)
Stiffness (in direction of motion)(7) 0.96 N/µm 0.40 N/µm 0.42 N/µm
Unloaded Resonant Frequency(7) 1050 Hz 510 Hz 310 Hz
Resonant Frequency (50 gram load)(7) 620 Hz 340 Hz 260 Hz
Maximum Acceleration (Unloaded)(8) 530 m/s2 260 m/s2 220 m/s2
Moving Mass 53 g 83 g 234 g
Max Payload(7) 1 kg 0.8 kg 1 kg
Stage Mass 0.08 kg 0.13 kg 0.31 kg
Material Anodized aluminum(10)
MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) 30,000 Hours


  1. All specifications, unless noted, are measured centered over the output carriage.
  2. Value ±10%.
  3. See Piezo Engineering reference section 4.2 for description of resolution.
  4. Certified with each stage (closed-loop feedback models only).
  5. See Piezo Engineering reference section 4.1 for description of linearity and accuracy specifications.
  6. 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.
  7. Values ±20%.
  8. On-axis loading listed.
  9. Requires selection of an appropriate amplifier to achieve listed values.
  10. External elements are anodized aluminum. 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) 1.6 µF 2.3 µF 13.2 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.
  • Linearity Error Plot
    QNP-Z Series Linearity Error Plot


Ordering Information

QNP-Z Series Single-Axis Piezo Nanopositioning Stage

QNP40Z-100 QNP40Z-100 single-axis, Z piezo nanopositioning stage, 100 µm CL travel
QNP50Z-250 QNP40Z-250 single-axis, Z piezo nanopositioning stage, 250 µm CL travel
QNP60Z-500 QNP60Z-500 single-axis, Z 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-QNP250XY-100Z Adapter plate, lower: QNP250XY, upper: QNP100Z
AP-QNP500XY-100Z-250Z Adapter plate, lower: QNP500XY, upper: QNP100Z/250Z