Cryogenic Positioning Systems

Many applications in science and industry require more than two axis of lateral motion for sample or component positioning. Even at very low temperatures and in confined spaces the payload has to be moved with highest precision.
SmarActs Cryogenic Positioning Systems are modular, precise, customizable and thermally managed to keep your samples as cold as possible during positioning or scanning tasks.

The central component of every XYZ positioning system is a linear stage. In this example a SLC-1720-CR. Three stages can be easily mounted onto each other with brackets and adapter plates to form compact multi-axis setups which are normally connected to the cold finger of a cryostat in the customer’s setup.

When designing high resolution positioning systems that should be able to precisely work even at cryogenic temperatures one has to ensure that the heat load on the stages are transferred as fast as possible to the cryostat to reduce temperature creep of the positioning system due to thermal expansion of the stages and mounting components.

The most crucial task is to transfer the heat from the payload to the mounting base plate to ensure a constant and low temperature at the point of interest.

Depending of the application several different designs of thermalization equipment is available to ensure the optimal heat transfer to the cryostat. In the following three different setups are displayed as examples. Other setups and designs are also possible and can be realized on request.

Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your applications requirements and customization requests.

Application Examples

XYZ Positioning System with Cold Plate

In this application example a cold plate with a brazed copper braid is mounted on top of the XYZ positioning system. The braid is directly connected to the system's base plate for optimal heat transfer. The cold plate offers eight M2 threads that can be used to mount and thermally connect the payload. The cold plate can be fully customized and also be equipped with additional copper braids as additional thermal links to the system's base plate.

XYZ Positioning System for Flag Style Sample Holders

In most experimental setups is the sample analysis position at the site of the cryostat, inside of a Scanning Probe Microscope or at a cryo stage in the analysis chamber, for example in Angle-Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy (ARPES) experiments. Generally, these sample positions are dedicated to analysis and are not being used for ex-situ sample preparation. Therefore, the samples need to be transferable to different preparation and analysis sites in the UHV system. Transferable sample holders that can also be loaded to the system via load-locks are a prerequisite for such applications.

In this example we have equipped the cold stage with a sample receptacle that accepts 1/2-inch flag style sample holders widely used in UHV analytical systems of various manufacturers.

XYZ Positioning System as a Cryogenic Substage

In this example the XYZ Cryogenic Positioning System is equipped with a cryo-harness that allows the mounting of additional positioning stages on top of the XYZ system. It presents a most versatile base for more complex systems that includes for example rotation stages like an SRT-2006.

Related Products and Accessories


The MCS2 is SmarAct’s most versatile and modular control system.

Precision Tool Commander (PTC)

The Precision Tool Commander is the Main Graphical User Interface to Control your Positioning Stages and Systems

Software Development Kits

Software Development Kits (SDKs) represent the keystone to build the bridge from your own control software into the world of SmarAct Control Systems

SRT-2006 - Cryogenic Rotation Stages

Miniaturized Cryo Rotation Stage which outer dimensions fit multi-axis setups built from SLC-17 stages