Motorized XY Stages

For Sample Positioning in Microscopy or Industrial Production

  • Loads of up to >100 kg
  • Many motorization variants: Stepper motors, DC motors, brushless motors, magnetic direct drives
  • Piezomotors replace electric motors in microscope stages
  • Optional direct position measurement with linear encoder at resolutions down to <1 nm
Motorized XY Stages


XY stages are used for sample positioning or scanning in two planes. Their main field of application is topology measurement. Microscope stages move, for example, biological samples under the objective. High throughput rates require precision, stability and dynamics. The same requirements also apply to industrial measurement methods such as white-light interferometry, except that there the samples can be much bigger and heavier (e.g. LCD monitors).

Microscope Stages

Microscope Stages Equipped with Piezomotors

PI offers XY stages for super-resolution microscopy, tiling or automated scanning microscopy that fit on common microscopes from known manufacturers such as Nikon, Zeiss, Leica and Olympus. Depending on model, PI uses piezomotors as the drive. This produces a continuously low-profile design without flange motors and lead screw ducts, thus considerably facilitating integration. Special drive concepts allow stable travel velocities from a few millimeters to several hundred millimeters per second.

  • Stable positioning, self-locking of the drive when at rest
  • Compact and flat design allows free access to sample
  • Suitable piezo scanning stages for XYZ and Z sample positioning available
Class*Linear Travel [mm]Resolution [nm]Load [kg]Velocity [mm/s]Motor / Drive
PILine® XY Stage System with Controller and Joystick
Stable, Dynamic, Low Profile
AA100 × 75 or 135 × 851005120Ultrasonic piezomotors
Stage with Piezoceramic Linear Motors
High Stability and Speed, Low-Profile, Direct Position Measurement
AA25 × 251005100Ultrasonic piezomotors
Industrial XY Scanners

Industrial Scanners for Inspection and Microscopy Tasks

The guiding and position accuracy of these XY stages is required in particular in industrial metrology. Its areas of applications include industrial surface measurement technologies such as topology measurements on workpieces and optics or structural measurements on semiconductor wafers. Their high load capacity allows further axes, for example, those of rotation stages, Z modules and tip/tilt stages to be mounted on the platform.

  • Stable platforms equipped with electric motors
  • Travel ranges up to 100 mm, optionally with linear encoder

  • Minimum flatness error
Class*Linear Travel [mm]Resolution [nm]Load [kg]Velocity [mm/s]Motor / Drive
Metrology Cross StageAAA / AA102 × 1025 to 2002035 to 240DC, stepper, magnetic linear motor
Cross StageAA350 × 3005030


Stepper motor
3-Axis Precision Positioning System
Parallel Kinematics in X, Y, θZ with Especially High Holding Force
AA20 × 20

15020DC motor
*   AAA   Reference class
  AA Precision class
  A Standard class