Nano Z® – Dual Voice Coil Stage with Air Bearings

NANO Z® patented Z-lift air bearing stages overcome the legacy design issues associated with z-wedges and other vertical stages. They use a novel combination of air-bearings plus two voice coil motors in a compact footprint with up to 50mm travel.

Using air bearings means negligible friction which enables unparalleled accuracy and repeatability down to low double-digit nanometers. Variable counterbalancing easily handles heavy weights like wafer chucks, while still achieving nano-level precision over the full travel range.

The Nano Z® design places vertical force in line with the payload, and this makes it possible to place the stage directly below the payload instead of beside it, avoiding inevitable cantilever inaccuracies and nearly eliminating pitch, yaw and roll.

Dimensions and specification can be found in following data sheet:

Patented Nano Z®: AI-VC-2400-NANO-Z-AB

GeoSymmetric Voice Coil Z Stages

ALIO’s GeoSymmetric™ Vertical Positioning Stages use voice coil or linear direct drives, high precision crossed roller bearings, and various counterbalance options within a unique and innovative design concept.

Unique geometric shapes provide mounting surfaces on multiple faces of the stage for flexible installation options. Being able to mount the payload directly to the face or top surface of the stage helps to eliminate weakness and resonant frequency issues associated with additional brackets.

The “Symmetric” part of the family’s name originates from the arrangement of the components used. The counterbalance, motor, bearings, and encoder are all placed on an approximate centerline of the stage, i.e. they are integrated in a way that their masses are symmetrically distributed over the stage.

This series of stages has been built for precision with application dependent counterbalances, and has been structurally designed to exceed application performance demands (with bidirectional repeatability down to +/-45nm, travels from 6 to 70mm, and load capacities of up to 30kg). Being 4x to 10x more precise than Z-wedge stages makes ALIO’s GeoSymmetric™ Vertical Positioning Stages  great for any application within the semiconductor industry, microscopes for life and health science, or numerous metrology applications.

Explore our many options with a closer look at the relevant data sheets:

Pneumatic Counterbalanced Z: AI-(MOTOR)-(TRAVEL)00-(FORCE)-Z-CB

High-Force Pneumatic Counterbalanced Z: AI-(MOTOR)-(TRAVEL)00-(FORCE)N-Z-CB

Magnetic Spring Counterbalanced Z, Voice Coil: AI-(MOTOR)-(TRAVEL)00-(PAYLOAD)-Z-MCB-(ORIENTATION)

Mini Z with user-swappable Spring Counterbalanced Z: AI-(MOTOR)-(TRAVEL)00-Z-SCB

Long travel Z Stages with Linear Drives

ALIO’s family of linear motor driven, vertical Z-lift stages are characterized by their low profile and extremely long travel ranges. Using high precision crossed roller bearings and linear encoders, the stages are equipped with magnetic spring counterbalances or a frictionless air bearing pneumatic cylinder. Similar to the GeoSymmetric series of stages, these long travel Z stages have counterbalance, motor, bearings, and encoder all placed on an approximate centerline of the stage. Payloads may be mounted directly to the face of the stage.

The Z-MCB versions with magnetic spring counterbalances allow travel between 25 and 170mm, while the Z-ABCB — with its frictionless air bearing pneumatic cylinder counterbalance — can carry payloads of up to 25kg over 200mm or more.


Magnetic Spring Counterbalanced Z, Linear Drive; AI-LM-(TRAVEL)00-Z-MCB-(MAX PAYLOAD)

Extra Long Travel Z: AI-LM-(TRAVEL)00-(PAYLOAD)-Z-MCB-BASE

Long Travel, High Payload: AI-LM-(TRAVEL)00-Z-ABCB-(OPTION)

High Load and Force Z Stages with Pneumatic Brake

A broad field of applications from industrial automation to large measurement or metrology tools demand enormous lift capabilities while still achieving nanometer precision. For such applications, ALIO offers vertical Z stages with precision ball screws driven by a frameless torque motor that is equipped with pneumatic release spring engage brakes that lift 20kg without additional counterbalance. For even higher loads, this series offers the so-called “pneumatic boost” option which uses a frictionless pneumatic counterbalance to boost the payload capability to 50kg.

Even with such high loads, these stages can achieve +/- 100 nm bi-directional repeatability over ranges of up to 50mm. This makes it the ideal stage for applications requiring high loads and long travel ranges without compromising precision.

More information on precision, accuracy and motion profile specifications:

Z Stage with Pneumatic Brake: AI-BSD-(TRAVEL)00-Z-PBRK

Z Focusing Stage

When looking at most imaging applications, optimal focus of the image can only be achieved if the distance between the sample and the optics is  adjustable. Typically,  a Z-axis focusing stage would be used for such applications with either the sample or the optics being moved along the optical axis. The specifics of the application, the optics, and the sample will ultimately determine the range of motion required, with some examples where additional focus travel is needed being:

• For thick or non-planar samples such as tissue samples or cultured cells

• For non-parfocal objectives each of which have a different focus spacing

• Where there are multiple sample types such as microscope slides or microtiter plates

• When it is necessary to retract the optics during a load/unload operation

Some other advanced microscopy applications require that a series of images are acquired, each separated by a small increment along the Z-axis, such advanced focus control being needed to create 3D sample images.

For all such exacting applications, ALIO’s direct drive focus stage technology is up to the challenge:

Z Focusing Stage: AI-VC-600-SCB-ATRAK

Linear X Stages

Linear X Stages are probably the most common stages used in the precision industry, which is why it is not surprising that you can find ALIO’s linear X stages in nearly all precision applications.

By using two different types of linear direct drives — the “LM”- and the “CM”-type — this family of stages offers a wide variety of options for travel needs from 30mm to 300mm.

While the “LM” versions offer more force, higher acceleration, speed, and payloads of up to 50kg, the “CM”-series’ low-profile design allows for implementation in tools and applications with space constraints — of course, without compromising precision.

ALIO Industries - Linear Motion Systems - Linear X Stages

For more information please download and analyze the following datasheets:

Linear X: AI-LM-(TRAVEL)00

Low-profile Linear X: AI-CM-(TRAVEL)00

Enclosed Monolithic XY Stages

Used in any kind of high precision application, ALIO’s enclosed, monolithic XY Stages utilize direct linear drives and high precision crossed roller bearings built into a compact 3-plate system. With nanometer straightness and flatness — as well as an optimized orthogonality — you can be assured that your point precision is True Nano®.

While compact in size, standard travel ranges from 30mm up to 400mm are available. If required, stages can also be built for high vacuum or clean room applications.

The design achieves the highest precision with bi-directional repeatabilities of only +/- 30nm and is equally strong in scanning applications requiring a smooth, continuous movement or when the requirement is for a fast step and settle process — even when highest output matters the most.

The enclosed, monolithic XY stages are divided into the standard LM-series and the low-profile CM-series.

ALIO Industries - Linear Motion Systems - Enclosed Monolithic XY Stages

To download datasheets, look for:

Enclosed Monolithic XY: AI-LM-(TRAVEL)00-XY

Low-profile Enclosed Monolithic XY: AI-CM-(TRAVEL)00-XY

Open-centered Monolithic XY Stages

ALIO’s open-centered, monolithic XY stages are characterized by large apertures enabling usage in any kind of application requiring accessibility of the carried product from all sides.

Using powerful direct linear drives and high precision crossed roller bearings carefully designed into a 3-plate system, we are capable of achieving outstanding precision in our open-centered XY stages. Besides a bi-directional repeatability of just +/- 50nm, the stages offer superior straightness and flatness, as well as an optimized orthogonality that gives you Nano Precision® at travel ranges of 30mm up to 400mm.

Scanning applications requiring a smooth, continuous movement and fast step and settle processes can be performed equally well to help customers to achieve an ideal motion and increased throughput.

If the application requires, the stages can also be built for high vacuum or clean room applications.

The open-centered, monolithic XY stages are divided into the standard LM-series as well as the more compact CM-Series.

ALIO Industries - Linear Motion Systems - Open-Centered Monolithic XY Stages

Detailed specifications, sizes and more can be found in following datasheets:

Open-Centered Monolithic XY: AI-LM-(TRAVEL)00-(THRU)E-XY

Low-profile Open-Centered Monolithic XY: AI-CM-(TRAVEL)00E-(THRU)-XY

Asymmetrical, Monolithic XY Stages

If you require different travels in x and y, need a low-profile solution to avoid space constraints, and can’t compromise on performance and precision, there are hardly any off-the-shelf products on the market. Still unique in the market, one of ALIO’s asymmetrical, monolithic XY stages can help solve this complex combination of motion requirements.

With their linear direct drives, high precision crossed roller bearings, and our 3-plate system, not only is highly precise and powerful motion guaranteed, but so is perfect orthogonality of the x and y axes in respect to each other.

“Asymmetrical” in this design concept refers to the two different travel ranges of these two stages that usually can only be achieved by mounted to different linear x stages on top of each other.

For further information, we suggest contacting us or downloading following specification sheets:

Asymmetrical, Monolithic XY: AI-LM-(TRAVEL_X)x(TRAVEL_Y)-XY

Asymmetrical, Monolithic XY: AI-SLM-(TRAVEL_X)x(TRAVEL_Y)-XY

ALIO Industries - Linear Motion Systems - Asymmetrical Monolithic XY Stages

Precision Ball-Screw Driven X Stages

In some cases, applications need to ensure that precision can be achieved in the presence of any kind of electrical noise. For such applications, ALIO offers stages driven by a torque motor moving a precision ball screw with an anti-backlash nut, and if necessary equipped with pneumatic or electric solenoid brakes.

Thanks to ALIO’s unique design and manufacturing principles, such stages still achieve a bi-directional repeatability of only +/- 100nm as well as straightness and flatness well below 5µm (and on request even 1µm can be maintained).

Off-the-shelf versions allow travels of 30mm, 100mm, 150mm, and 200mm, and can be realized for ambient, high vacuum and clean room conditions.

More information can be found on following datasheet:

Linear X with Precision Ball Screw:_AI-VBS-(TRAVEL)00-(BRAKE OPTION)

ALIO Industries - Linear Motion Systems - Precision Ball-Screw Driven X Stages
Micron 2 (µII) motion systems family

ALIO has introduced its new Micron 2 (µII) motion systems family to compete in the micron-level motion control market, where the demand is for low-cost, mid-precision, reliable, long travel stages. As with all products, ALIO’s Micron 2 (µII) motion systems are designed using the company’s uncompromising standards of “quality first” thereby ensuring long-term reliable operation.

The Micron 2 (µII) recirculating ball rail bearing stages come as standard in sizes of 100mm up to 2 meters thus providing the end-user a solution for a large variety of applications. This family of motion systems is a robust, powerful line that is designed to be used either stand-alone, or as a top axis of an integrated solution.

For more details please visit the dedicated Micron 2 (µII) motion systems page

ALIO Industries - Linear Motion Systems - Micron 2 Motion Systems