Research Projects

Nanometre Level Precision Stages

The project is to develop a motion stage capable of achieving nanometre level motion resolution and accuracy for a large travel of a few hundred millimetres. One axis of the stage employs permanent magnet linear motor and air-bearing technology for large travel. The other axis employs piezoelectric actuator and flexure-based parallel mechanism for nanometre level motion. 


Contact PersonLin Wei()
Solution

In order to achieve high precision, high-speed and long travel range, the stage is developed with the following features.

  • Monorail box-type air-bearing design enables fine motion without friction
  • Piezoelectric actuator and flexure-based parallel mechanism achieve no-friction, no-wear nanometre level motion
  • Fibre optical laser interferometer encoders provide nanometre resolution position feedback
BenefitsExperiment results show that a position tracking accuracy of±10 nm can be achieved with a laser interferometer of 10 nm resolution (Figure 1). The ultra-precision motion stage is able to trace circles with diameters less than 1µm over a 300mm travel range (Figure 2).

Patents / Awards / Achievements / DifferentiationExperiment results show that a position tracking accuracy of±10 nm can be achieved with a laser interferometer of 10 nm resolution (Figure 1). The ultra-precision motion stage is able to trace circles with diameters less than 1µm over a 300mm travel range (Figure 2).

Applications
  • Surface Inspection
  • Interferometry and metrology
  • Laser processing
Problems Addressed

The trend towards miniaturisation leads to constant shrinking of critical dimensions in wide range of products. Equipment manufacturers are facing the challenges of increasing demands in precision and throughput for manufacturing such products. The performance attributes of the motion stage, which is a core component in most of the equipment, are the capabilities of achieving high-precision, high-speed and long travel ranges.