The goal of this research has been to develop and demonstrate multi-axis nanopositioning systems that provide several orders of magnitude greater motion range per axis compared to what is currently commercially available. A nanopositioning system is a macro-scale motion system that is capable of nanometric motion precision (or repeatability) and resolution, and is therefore employed in various scanning applications to provide the relative motion between an imaging head (optics, probe, energy beam) and substrate. However, the biggest drawback of existing XY nanopositioning systems is their relatively small motion range (~ 100?m x 100?m). The proposed XY nanopositioning systems, targeted to provide a motion range of 10mm x 10mm, will enable a 10,000 times greater area-coverage in scanning nanometrology, direct-write nanomanufacturing, and imaging/inspection. Additionally, this work focusses on scanning speeds greater than 100mm/s to maintain high process throughput, and compact desk-top architectures to ensure affordability. We expect that such dramatic increase in area-coverage, while maintaining precision, resolution, speed, and product price, will lead to various industrial applications of direct-write micro/nanomanufacturing techniques such as dip-pen, electron-beam, and focused ion-beam lithography, and of nanometrology techniques such as atomic force microscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, and near-field scanning optical microscopy.

We have adopted a system-level design, modeling, and optimization approach to incorporate the mechanical system, sensors, actuators, drivers, and controls to overcome the existing challenges associated with individual components as well as system integration. In particular, we are employing novel parallel kinematic flexure architectures, sensing and actuation schemes, and advanced control algorithms to meet the above-stated goal.

Academic research and development outcomes from this work have led to the start-up company HiperNap LLC that is headed by PSDL alumi David Hiemstra.



T7.  Gaurav Parmar,"Dynamics and Control of Flexure-based Large Range Nanopositioning Systems", Ph.D. Thesis, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, January 2014
T4.  Gaurav Parmar,"Performance Specifications of Nanopositioning Systems: Accuracy, Precision and Resolution", M.S.E Thesis, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, August 2012
J21.  Parmar, G., Barton, K., and Awtar, S., "Large Dynamic Range Nanopositioning Using Iterative Learning Control",Precision Engineering, in press, accepted for publication: July 2013, DOI: 10.1016/j.precisioneng.2013.07.003


1.  RD100 Award
2.  Best paper award at the DSCC conference