Compact XY Scanning Stage based on Planar Air Bearings and Linear Motors Introduced by PI
(Nanowerk News) Nanopositioning specialist PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P., a leader and solution provider in motion control and positioning components and systems, recently released the new A-311 PIglide IS Series compact, planar air bearing stage, designed to deliver extremely precise and vibration-free motion. Planar scanning stages are ideal for wafer inspection, laser marking, optical metrology and other precision motion applications.
Air Bearings vs. Mechanical Bearings
Air bearings replace mechanical contact by a thin air film. The fully preloaded air bearings in the A-311 PIglide IS provide frictionless motion, resulting in negligible hysteresis or reversal error, and zero-wear of mechanical components. Due to the air bearing’s surface averaging effect, pitch/yaw/roll and straightness/flatness are significantly better than with conventional mechanical bearings, motion is vibration-free, and velocity can be controlled at very high constancy.
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Planar Stages vs. Stacked XY Stages
The compact, single base plate design provides a lower profile compared to stacked XY stages and makes integration in tight spaces easy. In addition, error-causing bending moments introduced in stacked stages when the load on the top stage moves off-center are not an issue with planar stages. By eliminating the height and overhung loads of an XY stack design, the A-311 PIglide IS stage achieves 0.1 µm/inch straightness and flatness and roll/pitch/yaw errors of 1 to 2 arc-seconds.
Linear Motors and Encoders for High Speed and Acceleration
Smooth motion with no cogging or attractive forces is provided by ironless linear motors; position information down to 1nm resolution comes from integrated linear encoders. The powerful linear motors reach velocities up to 1m/sec and acceleration to 1g, a prerequisite for fast scanning and automation applications.
Applications of the Cleanroom Compatible IS Planar Stage
Wafer inspection and scribing applications, microscopy, scanning.
Features & Advantages
– Low profile, high precision
– Optical linear encoders to 1 nanometer
– Travels up to 200mm x 200mm
– Load to 15kg max
– Velocity to 1m/sec, Acceleration to 1g
PI is a leading manufacturer of precision motion control equipment, piezo motors, air bearing stages and hexapod parallel-kinematics for semiconductor applications, photonics, bio-nano-technology and medical engineering. PI has been developing and manufacturing standard & custom precision products with piezoceramic and electromagnetic drives for 4 decades. The company has been ISO 9001 certified since 1994 and provides innovative, high-quality solutions for OEM and research. PI is present worldwide with eleven subsidiaries, R&D / engineering on 3 continents and total staff of 800+.