Article | September 26, 2022

Positioning At The Nanoscale (And Below): Trust In Proven Performance

By James MacKay and Jenice Con Foo, Mad City Labs


Organizations and individuals face a daunting task when they require precise motion and/or positioning at the nanometer and sub-nanometer scales. Few players exist in this space and, often, there is no one to turn to for advice because users of such instrumentation regularly experiment and work at the cutting edge of what is technically possible. Still, perhaps the biggest differentiator between vendors is the nature of their claims: those who state, “this is what we can do,” and those who state, “this is what we have proven capable of achieving.”

Driven by our proprietary PicoQ sensor technology, Mad City Labs products have been trusted to explore the origins of the universe and to conduct low-gravity experimentation. When Mad City Labs began in nanopositioning, some companies used piezoresistive sensors, whose perceived limitations seemed to position them as inferior to capacitive sensors. Mad City Labs bent its technical capability toward improving the performance of piezoresistive sensors, resulting in the PicoQ sensor, which outperforms a capacitive sensor by all critical metrics, including lower noise, better range of motion, and better dynamic range. Moreover, the use of a piezoresistive sensor offers inherent advantages over use of a capacitive sensor — the presumed “gold standard.”

Thus, high-quality materials, an agile manufacturing process, a staff boasting world-class knowledge, and a dedication to personalized service and support have made Mad City Labs the leading supplier of positioning equipment in the world.

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