Vertical Precision Motorized Stages (Z-Positioners)

PI provides a number of different vertical linear stages, spanning from stepper motor driven stages to piezo-Z flexure nanopositioners. Vertical positioning stages (Z-stages, lift stages, or elevator stages) are used in focusing or precision positioning and alignment applications, and are often mission-critical in high-end industrial and research applications from optics to photonics alignment and semiconductor testing.

Choose from a Product Group below, or scroll to see all Product Groups

A dedicated Z-stage provides better stiffness and straightness compared to a translation stage mounted vertically on a bracket, and gives full access to the sample to be positioned.

Many Options: PI provides a variety of different Z-stages, from low-cost stepper-motor units to high-accuracy lift stages with closed-loop motors and linear encoders for direct position feedback.

Ultra-High-Precision: Piezo Flexure Z-stages and Z-Tip-Tilt positioners and Piezo-Walk Z-Stages, as well as Hybrid Nanopositioning vertical stages, are also available for nanometer and sub-nanometer precise positioning applications.

Vacuum, too
As a specialist for vacuum motion systems, PI miCos also offers HV and UHV vacuum compatible linear positioning stages.

Motor/Screw Driven Z Stages

The UPL-120 is our highest precision vertical linear stage. It is driven by a closed-loop servo motor or closed-loop micro-stepped, 2-phase stepper motor and utilizes a linear scale for position feedback. Other options include an open-loop stepper motor. The high performance of this elevator stage makes it ideal for applications in optical lithography, semiconductor test equipment, photonics alignment, and wafer inspection.
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UPL-120 Ultra Precision Vertical Stage

Linear Encoder, Crossed Rollers

  • 13mm travel
  • 0.1 to 0.05µm min. inc. motion
  • 5nm linear encoder resolution
  • 6mm/sec max. velocity
  • 20kg load
  • Linear encoder option
The L-310 vertical translation stage is available with stepper and servo motors and is driven by a precision ground ball screw and guided by cross-roller bearings. A linear scale option provides higher linearity and repeatability, with resolution to 50 nanometers. L-310 stages can be mounted directly to the L-511 linear stage and L-611 rotary stage series.
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L-310 Precision Vertical Stage

Linear Encoder, Crossed Rollers

  • 26mm travel
  • 0.1µm min. inc. motion
  • 5nm encoder resolution

  • 20mm/sec max. velocity
  • 5kg load
  • Linear encoder option
L-306 Precision Vertical Stage
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L-306 Compact Vertical Stage

Combines with L-406 Linear Stages

  • 13mm travel
  • 0.1µm min. inc. motion
  • 5nm linear encoder resolution
  • 5mm/sec max. velocity
  • 2kg load
  • 63x63mm footprint, combines with L-406 compact linear stages
M-451 Precision Vertical Stage
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M-451 Precision Vertical Stage

Combines with Piezo Flexure Stages

  • 12.5mm travel
  • 0.2µm min. inc. motion
  • 40nm sensor resolution
  • 3mm/sec max. velocity
  • 12kg load
  • Combines with P-527 piezo stage

Counterbalanced High Performance Z-Stage Concepts

PI has experience with a number of counterbalancing technologies for vertical stages including springs, magnets, counterweights, and closed-loop pneumatic solutions that adapt to varying loads. The following examples give an overview of what’s possible.
For more information on counterbalancing options, contact our engineers»

Custom A-121.050B1 Air Bearing stage with mechanical counterweight counterbalance, 50mm travel, linear motor, absolute encoder

Complete XYZ Air Bearing Motion System.  XY = A-322 Base Model, 500x500mm Travel.  Z Axis is a custom A-123.150B1 Air Bearing stage with pneumatic counterbalance and fail-safe brake, 150mm travel, linear motor, absolute encoder.

Custom A-123.150B1 Air Bearing stage with pneumatic counterbalance and fail-safe brake, 150mm travel, linear motor, absolute encoder

Custom V-408 Cross Roller Bearing Stage stage with pneumatic counterbalance and fail-safe brake, 50mm travel, linear motor, sin/cos encoder

Custom A-123.050B1 Air Bearing stage with pneumatic counterbalance and fail-safe brake, 50mm travel, linear motor, absolute encoder

Counter-balanced Air Bearing Z-Stage mounted on granite bridge

Complete XYZ Motion System.  XY = V-508 Cross roller bearing linear motor stages, 170x170mm. Z Axis is a Custom V-408 Cross Roller Bearing Stage stage with pneumatic counterbalance and fail-safe brake, 50mm travel, linear motor, sin/cos encoder.

Custom Z-Theta with piezo XY motion system for miniature CT scanning. Z Axis is a custom A-123.200B1 Air Bearing stage with pneumatic counterbalance, which includes automated counterbalance adjustment for varying loads. The rotary stage is a A-623.050B1. The Q-545 XY stage is based on piezo-motor technology and driven through a slipring.

Split XY-Z System based on A-311 XY Air Bearing Stage and A-123 Linear Stage mounted on Granite Bridge

Piezo/Flexure Guided Z-Stages

Piezo Flexure Z-Nanopositioners
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Piezo Flexure Z-Nanopositioners

Sub-nm Resolution, Zero-Friction

  • <1mm travel
  • <1nm min. inc. motion
  • Millisecond fast step & settle
  • High stability & fast scanning