Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) offers the PlanarHDX planar air-bearing platform for semiconductor manufacturing and advanced test and inspection. Structural elements were designed using a silicon carbide ceramic. The resulting material and structure enable 1.5-m/s scan speeds and 5-g peak acceleration with a payload of up to 20 kg for high-throughput processing. Other features include an air-bearing compensation strategy that increases stiffness and load capacity for high-dynamic applications. The platform uses air-on-air preloading in critical bearing elements, and a proprietary reaction-mass design reduces stage-induced forces in the step-axis that are transferred to the isolation system or structure (optics, sensors, etc.).

The platform is available with passive or active isolation systems. Additional axes such as Z-tip-tilt or Ztheta designs, as well as custom wafer load/unload mechanisms and wafer chucks, are available. Machine weldments, complex granite base structures, or enclosures can also be provided. Feedback options include low-expansion glass scale encoders or interferometer.

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