WaferMax Z Mechanical-Bearing Direct-Drive Lift Stage


Design Features

  • Low profile for space-conscious applications
  • Noncontact direct-drive
  • High repeatability
  • Integral pneumatic counterbalance
  • Easily configured with WaferMax T for multi-axis applications

The WaferMax Z represents a significant breakthrough in vertical alignment of high-precision components in one compact package. Its superior noncontact linear motor drive employs a high-accuracy encoder for direct position feedback. When combined with Aerotech’s MXH multiplier, it offers 0.83 nm resolution in addition to high speed and accuracy.

Superior Mechanical Design

Bearing elements are crossed-roller style for maximum smoothness and reliability. These are mounted on an optimized base and wedge assembly for stiffness and low mass/inertia, enhancing dynamic performance.

All the critical elements of the WaferMax Z were selected to operate in a 24/7 industrial environment and, unlike screw- or piezo-based vertical stages, the WaferMax Z requires no maintenance and will ensure years of trouble-free operation.

Brushless Direct-Drive

To maximize positioning performance, the WaferMax Z utilizes Aerotech’s BLMUC-series brushless, slotless linear motor. This motor has all of the advantages of a brushless direct-drive motor — no brushes to wear, no gear trains to maintain and high acceleration and high speeds. Since it is a slotless, ironless design, there is zero cogging, meaning that there is absolutely no torque ripple. This makes the WaferMax Z ideal for contoured motion, smooth scan velocity or precise incremental steps.

Accurate Positioning

Performance is assured with a precision linear encoder that results in 0.8 nm resolution. The motor and high-performance linear encoder are directly coupled to increase accuracy.

Flexible Configurations

Aerotech manufactures a wide range of servo amplifiers and advanced controllers to provide a complete, integrated package.


WaferMax Z Specifications

ModelWaferMax Z
Travel 5 mm
Motor Type Direct-drive brushless linear servomotor
Bus Voltage up to 160 VDC
Continuous Current Apk 2.9 A
Arms 2.1 A
Encoder 20 µm fundamental; amplified sine output
Resolution 0.83 nm
Accuracy(1,3) ±1.5 µm
Bidirectional Repeatability(3) ±0.3 µm
Straightness(4) ±2 µm
Roll 20 arc sec
Pitch 20 arc sec
Yaw 20 arc sec
Maximum Speed 4 mm/s
Maximum Load(5) 10 kg (requires use of integral pneumatic counterbalance)
Moving Mass 1.0 kg
Wedge Ratio 12:1
Stage Mass 4.2 kg
Material Aluminum
Finish Black anodize hard cover; Hard coat (62 Rockwell Hardness) tabletop
  1. Requires Aerotech controller.
  2. For inverted operation, consult factory.
  3. Certified with each stage.
  4. Measured perpendicular or parallel to wedge direction.
  5. Higher maximum loads possible. Contact factory for details.
  6. Specifications are per axis measured 25 mm above the tabletop without a payload. Performance is payload and work-point dependent. Consult factory for multi-axis or non-standard applications.


  • WaferMax Z

Ordering Information

Ordering Example

WaferMax Z -NC -LTAS

Ordering Options

Series Limit SwitchesEncoder
WaferMax Z -NC

WaferMax Z

Option Description
WaferMax Z Direct-drive vertical stage


Option Description
-NC Normally closed end of travel limit switches (STANDARD)
-NO Normally open end of travel limit switches


Option Description
-LTAS Linear encoder; amplified sine output