Optimisation of a nano-positioning stage for a Transverse Dynamic Force Microscope

G. De Silva, S.C. Burgess, T. Hatano, S.G. Khan, K. Zhang, T. Nguyen, G. Herrmann, C. Edwards, Mervyn Miles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
441 Downloads (Pure)


Abstract This paper describes the optimisation of a nano-positioning stage for a Transverse Dynamic Force Microscope (TDFM). The nano-precision stage is required to move a specimen dish within a horizontal region of 1 μm × 1 μm and with a resolution of 0.3 nm. The design objective was to maximise positional accuracy during high speed actuation. This was achieved by minimising out-of-plane distortions and vibrations during actuation. Optimal performance was achieved through maximising out-of-plane stiffness through shape and material selection as well optimisation of the anchoring system. Several shape parameters were optimised including the shape of flexural beams and the shape of the dish holder. Physical prototype testing was an essential part of the design process to confirm the accuracy of modelling and also to reveal issues with manufacturing tolerances. An overall resonant frequency of 6 kHz was achieved allowing for a closed loop-control frequency of 1.73 kHz for precise horizontal motion control. This resonance represented a 12-fold increase from the original 500 Hz of a commercially available positioning stage. Experimental maximum out-of-plane distortions below the first resonance frequency were reduced from 0.3 μm for the first prototype to less than 0.05 μm for the final practical prototype.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)183-197
Number of pages15
JournalPrecision Engineering - Journal of the International Societies for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology
Early online date10 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Design optimisation
  • Prototype testing
  • Fea
  • Atomic force microscope


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimisation of a nano-positioning stage for a Transverse Dynamic Force Microscope'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this