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  • Single axis micropositioner for nanopositioner integration
  • High stability, precision aligned with built-in right angle mount
  • 25mm travel with 95nm step
  • Low drift, intelligent motor control
  • Compatible with Nano-OP Series and Nano-OP-M Series
Typical Applications
  • Scanning probe microscopy
  • Nanomanipulation

Product Description

The SPM-MZ is a precision aligned, highly stable single axis micropositioner designed as a Z-axis approach for scanning probe microscopes. The SPM-MZ employs our proprietary intelligent motor control for low drift performance and incorporates a built-in right angle bracket to ensure high stability. The total travel range of the SPM-MZ is 25mm with a minimum step size of 95nm. An optional high resolution linear encoder may be ordered to continuously monitor positions down to 50nm. The USB digital interface provides direct PC control of the micropositioner as well as access to the linear encoder. The SPM-MZ is compatible with standard optomechanical components, including tables, and Mad City Labs Nano-OP Series and Nano-OP-M Series nanopositioners. Combining the SPM-MZ with the Nano-OP Series offers the user an integrated Z-axis approach with both long range travel and closed loop sub-nanometer precision making it ideal high resolution probe microscopy. The SPM-MZ is recommended as a high stability automated Z-approach upgrade for our SPM-M kit. For users requiring ±25mm motion, we recommend the RM21-MZ.

Technical Specifications

Range of motion
25 mm
Micoropositioning step size 95 nm
Maximum speed 2 mm/sec
Motion Profile  
Motion > 500 steps Automatic accel/decel control
Motion ≤ 500 steps Constant 1 step/ms
Linear encoder resolution (optional) 50 nm
Body material Aluminum
Controller MicroDrive™
Computer interface Bidirectional USB

AFM Verification of PicoQ® Sensor Technology Performance

The stability of the nanopositioner-ready SPM-MZ is critical to high resolution SPM experiments. The SPM-MZ was used as a Z axis coarse approach for the measurements below.

Position noise of a nanopositioning system is the ultimate limit of the system's measurement resolution. Many applications involving sub-nanometer measurements, such as atomic force microscopy (AFM), would not be possible without low noise nanopositioning systems. Some companies claim to sell systems with sub-nanometer resolution, but they do not have data from external metrology tests to support their claims. All Mad City Labs nanopositioning products are rigorously tested before shipment. These tests involve a series of measurements designed to fully characterize the performance of the nanopositioning system with a realistic environment and testing conditions that match the application. Available metrology tools include NIST-traceable interferometers, high resolution AFM, and a high resolution position noise analyzer, designed specifically for nanopositioning characterization. The links below lead to in-depth descriptions of some of our AFM measurements.

2D representation of 312 pm Si (111) atomic steps measured by AFM
312 pm Si (111) atomic steps detected using a nanopositioner with PicoQ® sensor technology, measured by AFM.
AFM Demonstrations: Measuring Atomic Steps
Measurements taken with an AFM show that nanopositioners with PicoQ® sensor technology have sufficiently low position noise to accurately resolve single atomic layer size steps, 312 pm.

AFM Demonstrations: Sub-Nanometer Motion
100 and 450 micron range nanopositioners with PicoQ sensor technology perform 860 picometer steps, 1 nanometer sine wave, and repeated 95 picometer steps, externally measured by AFM.

AFM Demonstrations: Measuring Surface Roughness
AFM is used to externally verify that the position noise of a nanopositioning system with PicoQ® sensor technology is less than the surface roughness of a Si (111) sample, 60 pm RMS.

Additional Information

SPM-MZ Drawing

SPM-MZ Catalog Pages
AFM Video Tutorial

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mclgen@madcitylabs.com       phone: 608.298.0855       fax: 608.298.9525

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