XYZ Microscope Stages


  • Ideal for use in 3D Imaging Applications
  • X and Y Position Accuracy: <3.0 µm
  • Z-Axis Resolution: 25 nm
  • Compatible with Cerna®, Nikon, Olympus, and Zeiss Microscopes

Motorized XYZ Scanning

MZS500-E Z-Axis Stage and MLS203-1 XY
Stage Shown with the MZS500P2 Slide Holder

MZS500-E Z-Axis Stage Mounted
to an MLS203-1 XY Microscopy
Stage, Shown Attached to a Nikon
Eclipse Ti-U Microscope.

Related Items


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Features

  • XY DC Linear Servo Stage with Position Accuracy of <3.0 µm
    • Mounting Bracket Available for Thorlabs' Cerna®, Nikon, Olympus, or Zeiss Microscopes
  • Z-Axis Piezo Stage with 500 µm of Vertical Travel and 25 nm Resolution 
    • Mount to Compatible XY Scanning Stage for Complete XYZ Microscope Stage
  • XYZ Microscope Stage Specimen Holders and Accessories Available

The MLS203/MZS500-E motorized XYZ microscope stage system presents a 3D positioning solution for applications such as Z-axis slicing or 3D image collection, including laser scanning microscopy. It provides active feedback to compensate for thermal changes and other factors that might lead to stage drift. The closed-loop, active feedback ensures correct positioning with submicron repeatability and Z-axis resolution of 25 nm, making the XYZ stage system ideal for applications that require highly accurate focus control. To build a complete XYZ motorized microscopy stage package, purchase both the MLS203 XY Scanning Stage and the MZS500-E Z-Axis Stage along with their respective controllers and the mounting brackets for the MLS203 stage. Optional Z-axis stage accessories can also be purchased below. The table below outlines the items that should be purchased to form a complete XYZ stage package for various microscopes.

XY Scanning Stage
The MLS203 XY Scanning Stage is the first of the two components needed to construct the XYZ microscope stage. This stage has been designed as a drop-in replacement for the manual stage found on select Nikon, Olympus, and Zeiss microscopes or for use with Thorlabs' Cerna microscopes to provide motorized XY positioning of microscopy samples. Characterized by high-speed scanning capabilities and high positional accuracy of <3.0 µm, this stage is ideal for manually or automatically positioning a wide range of specimens and samples in many types of microscopy or imaging techniques and applications. To incorporate the XY stage into a microscope imaging system, you must use one of the mounting brackets provided below; the type of bracket will be dependent on the microscope being used. Alternatively, for use in typical photonics applications or if building a custom microscope setup, the XY scanning stage chosen can be bolted to an optical table or breadboard using the mounting brackets.

Z-Axis Piezo Stage
The MZS500-E Z-Axis Piezo Stage is the second of the two components needed to construct the XYZ microscope stage. This low-profile, piezo-driven stage provides 500 µm of travel in the vertical (Z-axis) direction. The stage is sold with a closed-loop, piezo controller; together, the stage and controller provide computer-controlled Z-axis positioning and active location feedback. To incorporate the stage into the microscope imaging system, it must first be mounted to an MLS302 XY scanning stage using the provided cap screws. Please refer to the table below to verify which XY stage can mount the MZS500-E Z-axis stage. Once a compatible XY stage is chosen, select the compatible XY stage mounting bracket to incorporate the XYZ stage into your microscope imaging system.

Specimen Holders and Accessories
We offer a range of adapters to allow the positioning of microscope slides, Petri dishes, and mounted metalurgical specimens. The Z-axis piezo stage accepts a well plate directly. The MJC001 XY-Axis and MZF001 Z-Axis Joysticks are also available for both the MLS203 and MZS500 stages, respectively. Please see the details below.

Complete XYZ Microscope Stage Assemblies

Microscopea XY Stage XY Stage
Mounting Bracket
XY Stage Controller Z-Axis Stagec Optional Specimen Holders and Accessoriesb
Thorlabs Cerna® MLS203-1 CSA1000 BBD302 MZS500-E C4SH01: Multi Slide Holder
MZS500P2: Slide/Petri Dish Holder
MZS500P3: Blank Adapter Plate
MZS500P5: 1/4"-20 Tapped Breadboard Plate
MZS500P4: M6-Tapped Breadboard Plate
MZF001: Z-Axis Joystick Console
MJC001: XY Joystick Console
Nikon 50i, 80i, 90i, and Ci-L MLS203-1 MLSA06
Nikon TE2000 and Eclipse Ti MLS203-1 MLSA03
Nikon Eclipse FN1 MLS203-1 MLSA07
Olympus BX41, BX43, BX51, and BX61 MLS203-1 MLSA08
Olympus IX71, IX73, IX81, and IX83 MLS203-1 MLSA02
Olympus IX70 MLS203-1 MLSA09
Zeiss Axio Observer and Axiovert 40 MLS203-2 None Needed
Optical Breadboard / Custom Configuration MLS203-1 MLSA01
  • We support additional microscopes from Olympus, Nikon, Zeiss, and Leica with custom mounting brackets. Please contact Technical Support to inquire about bracket availability if your microscope model is not listed above.
  • Accessories for an XY stage configuration can be purchased here.
  • Controller included with stage.

MZS500-E Controller

Item # MZS500-E
Piezoelectric Output (SMC Male)
Voltage (Software Control) 0 to 150 VDC
Voltage (External Input) -10 to +10 VDC
Current 500 mA Max Continuous
Stability 100 ppm Over 24 hours
(After 30 min Warm-Up Time)
Noise <3 mV RMS
Typical Piezo Capacitance 1 to 20 µF
Bandwidth 1.0 kHz, Digital Closed Loop
Position Feedback (9-Pin D-Type Female)
Feedback Transducer Type Strain Gauge and Capacitive Compatible
Detection Method AC Bridge (18 kHz Excitation)
Typical Resolution 5 nm (for 20 µm Actuator e.g. PAZ005)
Auto-Configure ID Chip in Stage
User Input/Output (15-Pin D-type Female)
4 Digital Inputs TTL Levels
4 Digital Outputs Open Collector
Trigger Input/Output TTL
Trigger Input Functionality Triggered Voltage Ramps/Waveforms
Trigger Output Functionality Trigger Generation During Voltage Ramp Output
User 5 V (with Ground) 250 mA Max
Controller Specifications (Main Unit)
Front Panel Controls
Display 5-Digit, 7-Segment
Buttons Volts/Microns Select, Open/Closed Loop Select, Zero, Resolution
Display Brightness Adjustable
Resolution Switchable Coarse and Fine Adjustment
Output Infinite Turn Precision Digital Potentiometer (Encoder)
USB Port USB 2 Full speed (12Mbps) Compatible
Input Power Requirements
Voltage 85 - 264 VAC
Power 150 W
Fuse 3.15 A
General
Dimensions (W x D x H) 152 mm x 244 mm x 104 mm (6" x 9.6" x 4.1")
Weight 3.18 kg (7 lbs)

MZS500-E Z-Axis Stage

Item # MZS500-E
Drive Voltage 0 to 150 V
Travel 500 µm
Resolution 25 nm
Minimum Step Size 250 nm Typical
Feedback Transducer Type Capacitive
Position Linearity Error < 0.05% over Full Travel
Typical Settling Time for 1 to 100 µm Step 25 ms Typical
Max Travel Bandwidth 10 Hz
Drive Signal Shape Saw Tooth, Sinusoidal or Square Wave
Resonant Frequency (± 10%) 155 Hz at No Load
130 Hz at 100 g Load
110 Hz at 200 g Load
100 Hz at 250 g Load
Maximum Loada 250 g (0.5 lbs)
Tilt Angle X-Axis: ± 50 µrad
Y-Axis: ±30 µrad
Operating Temperature 25° C
Dimensions (X, Y, Z)b 8.9" x 5.9" x 0.98"
(226 mm x 150 mm x 25 mm)
Weight (with cables, no accessories fitted) 850 g (1.85 lb)
Surface Finish Black Anodized
  • This is the total load of the stage; the weight of any accessory plates must be included in your load calculation.
  • Z dimension is the distance above the MLS203 top surface.
XYZ Microscope Stage
Click to Enlarge

Mechanical Drawing Showing the MZS500-E Z-Axis Stage Mounted to the MLS203 XY Scanning Stage

MLS203 XY Scanning Stage

Item # MLS203-1/ML203-2
Travel Range 110 mm x 75 mm (4.3" x 2.95")
Speed (Max) 250 mm/s
Acceleration (Max) 2000 mm/s2
Bidirectional Repeatability 0.25 µm
Unidirectional Repeatability 0.25 µm
Backlasha N/A
Load Capacity (Max) 1 kg (2.2 lb)
Incremental Movement (Min) 0.1 µm
Absolute On-Axis Accuracy < 3 µm
Percentage Accuracy (Max) X-Axis: 0.0027%
Y-Axis: 0.004%
Flatness in X Axis ±3 µm over full travel, ±1 µm over 10 mm
Flatness in Y Axis ±2 µm over full travel, ±1 µm over 10 mm
Home Location Accuracy 0.25 µm
Settling Time within 1 µm (600 g Load) 0.1 s
Settling Time within 0.1 µm (600 g Load) 0.6 s
Weight (Including Cables) 3.2 kg (7.0 lbs)
Limit Switches X and Y as Standard
Bearing Type Precision Linear Bearing
Motor Type Brushless DC Linear Motor
Dimensions (Mid Travel) 250 mm x 229.3 mm x 31 mm
(9.84" x 9.03" x 1.22")
Recommended Controller BBD302
  • The stage does not suffer from backlash because there is no leadscrew.

BBD302 Controller

Item # BBD302
Number of Channels 2
Drive Connector 8 Pin DIN, Round, Female
Feedback Connector 15-Pin D-Type, Female
Brushless Continuous Output 2.5 A per Channel, 5.2 A Max All-Channel Total Output
Brushless Peak Output 4.0 A per Channel, 5.2 A Max All-Channel Total Output
PWM Frequency 40 kHz
Operating Modes Position and Velocity
Control Algorithm 16-Bit Digital PID Servo Loop with Velocity and
Acceleration Feedforward
Velocity Profile Trapezoidal/S-Curve
Position Count 32 Bit
Position Feedback Incremental Encoder
Encoder Bandwidth 2.5 MHz (10 M Counts/sec)
Encoder Supply 5 V
AUX Control Connector 37-Pin D-Type Female (User Digital IO, 5 V O/P)
Front Panel Display 4.3" Full-Color LCD, 480 x 272 Pixels
Input Power
Requirements
250 VA
Voltage: 100 to 240 VAC
Frequency: 47 to 63 Hz
Fuse: 3.15 A
Dimensions (W x D x H) 250.0 mm x 279.1 mm x 108.8 mm
(9.84" x 10.99" x 4.28")
Mass (Weight) 1.70 kg (3.75 lbs)

MZS500-E Stage Pin Out Descriptions

Feedback

Male

Feedback

Pin Description Pin Description
1a Sine + 7 Reserved for Future Use
2a Sine - 8 +15 V Supply
3 Ground 9 -15 V Supply
4 Reserved for Future Use 10 Ground
5b Position + 11 Ground
6b Position - 12 Ground
  • Differential sine wave signal from controller (Piezo IN) to stage at fixed 20 kHz - 35 kHz frequency range.
  • Differential signal output from the sensor in the stage.

Drive

SMC Male

USER I/O
0 - 150 V
0 - 500 mA

 

MZS500-E Controller Pin Out Descriptions

Strain Gauge

Strain Gauge

Pin Description Pin Description
1 Strain Gauge Excitation 5 AC Feedback IN
2 -15 Vouta 6 Ground
3 +15 Vouta 7 Actuator ID Signalb
4 Ground 8 Reserved For Future Use
9 Reserved For Future Use
  • Power supply for the piezo actuator feedback circuit. It must not be allowed to
    drive any other circuits or devices.
  • This signal is applicable only to Thorlabs actuators. It enables the system to
    identify the piezo extension associated with the actuator.

User I/O

USER I/O

Pin Description Return Pin Description Return
1 Digital O/P 1 5,9,10 9 Digital Ground -
2 Digital O/P 2 10 Digital Ground
3 Digital O/P 3 11 Reserved for Future Use
(Trigger OUT)
5,9,10
4 Digital O/P 4 12 Reserved for Future Use
(Trigger IN)
5 Digital Ground - 13 Digital I/P 4
6 Digital I/P 1 5,9,10 14 5 V Supply Output
7 Digital I/P 2 15 5 V Supply Output
8 Digital I/P 3
 

MLS203 XY Scanning Stage Pin Out Descriptions

Motor Drive

Male

Motor Drive

Pin Description Pin Description
1 Motor Phase V 5 Stage ID
2 GND 6 GND
3 Thermistor (Not Used) 7 Motor Phase W
4 Motor Phase U 8 Enable

Encoder Feedback

D-Type Male

Encoder Feedback

Pin Description Pin Description
1 Reserved for Future Use 9 GND
2 GND 10 Limit Switch +
3 Reserved for Future Use 11 Limit Switch -
4 Encoder Index - 12 Encoder Index +
5a QB - 13a QB +
6a QA - 14a QA +
7 5 V 15 Reserved for Future Use
8 5 V
  • Differential Input Signals
 

BBD302 Controller Pin Out Descriptions

MOTOR DRIVE

Female DIN Connector

BBD MOTOR DRIVE

Pin Description Pin Description
1 Motor Phase V 5 Stage ID
2 GND 6 GND
3 Temp. Sensor (Not Used) 7 Motor Phase W
4 Motor Phase U 8 Enable

FEEDBACK

Female D-Type Connector

BBD FEEDBACK

Pin Description Pin Description
1 Not Connected 9 GND
2 GND 10 Limit Switch +
3 Not Connected 11 Limit Switch -
4 Index - 12 Index +
5 QB - 13 QB +
6 QA - 14 QA +
7a 5 V 15 Not Connected
8a 5 V
  • Pins 7 and 8 are short circuited internally.

HANDSET

Female Mini DIN Connector

Handset Connector

Pin Description Pin Description
1 RX
(Controller Input)
4 Supply Voltage
for Handset 5 V
2 Ground 5 TX (Controller Output)
3 Ground 6 Ground

AUX I/O

Female D-Type Connector

37-Pin DIN Male

Pin Description Pin Description Pin Description Pin Description
1 RS232 TX 11 User Digital O/P 11+ 21 +5 V 31 User Digital O/P 4+
2 RS232 RX 12 User Digital O/P 10- 22 User Digital I/P 3 32 User Digital O/P 4-
3 Ground 13 User Digital O/P 10+ 23 User Digital I/P 2 33 User Digital O/P 5+
4 Differential I/P 2+ 14 User Digital O/P 9- 24 User Digital I/P 1 34 User Digital O/P 5-
5 Differential I/P 2- 15 User Digital O/P 9+ 25 User Digital I/P 0 35 User Digital O/P 6+
6 Differential I/P 1- 16 User Digital O/P 8- 26 User Digital O/P 0 36 User Digital O/P 6-
7 Differential I/P 1+ 17 User Digital O/P 8+ 27 User Digital O/P 1 37 Ground
8 User Digital O/P 12- 18 User Digital O/P 7- 28 User Digital O/P 2 - -
9 User Digital O/P 12+ 19 User Digital O/P 7+ 29 User Digital O/P 3
10 User Digital O/P 11- 20 +5 V 30 Ground

USB

Type B USB Female

USB Connector

I/O

Female BNC Connector

I/O Connector

5 V TTL

Thorlabs offers two platforms to drive our wide range of motion controllers: our Kinesis® software package or the legacy APT™ (Advanced Positioning Technology) software package. Either package can be used to control devices in the Kinesis family, which covers a wide range of motion controllers ranging from small, low-powered, single-channel drivers (such as the K-Cubes™ and T-Cubes™) to high-power, multi-channel, modular 19" rack nanopositioning systems (the APT Rack System).

The Kinesis Software features .NET controls which can be used by 3rd party developers working in the latest C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW™, or any .NET compatible languages to create custom applications. Low-level DLL libraries are included for applications not expected to use the .NET framework. A Central Sequence Manager supports integration and synchronization of all Thorlabs motion control hardware.

Kinesis Software
Kinesis GUI Screen
APT Software
APT GUI Screen

Our legacy APT System Software platform offers ActiveX-based controls which can be used by 3rd party developers working on C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW™, or any Active-X compatible languages to create custom applications and includes a simulator mode to assist in developing custom applications without requiring hardware.

By providing these common software platforms, Thorlabs has ensured that users can easily mix and match any of the Kinesis and APT controllers in a single application, while only having to learn a single set of software tools. In this way, it is perfectly feasible to combine any of the controllers from single-axis to multi-axis systems and control all from a single, PC-based unified software interface.

The software packages allow two methods of usage: graphical user interface (GUI) utilities for direct interaction with and control of the controllers 'out of the box', and a set of programming interfaces that allow custom-integrated positioning and alignment solutions to be easily programmed in the development language of choice.

A range of video tutorials is available to help explain our APT system software. These tutorials provide an overview of the software and the APT Config utility. Additionally, a tutorial video is available to explain how to select simulator mode within the software, which allows the user to experiment with the software without a controller connected. Please select the APT Tutorials tab above to view these videos.

Software

Kinesis Version 1.14.30

The Kinesis Software Package, which includes a GUI for control of Thorlabs' Kinesis and APT™ system controllers.

Also Available:

  • Communications Protocol
Software Download

Software

APT Version 3.21.5

The APT Software Package, which includes a GUI for control of Thorlabs' APT™ and Kinesis system controllers.

Also Available:

  • Communications Protocol
Software Download

The APT video tutorials available here fall into two main groups - one group covers using the supplied APT utilities and the second group covers programming the APT System using a selection of different programming environments.

Disclaimer: The videos below were originally produced in Adobe Flash. Following the discontinuation of Flash after 2020, these tutorials were re-recorded for future use. The Flash Player controls still appear in the bottom of each video, but they are not functional.

Every APT controller is supplied with the utilities APTUser and APTConfig. APTUser provides a quick and easy way of interacting with the APT control hardware using intuitive graphical control panels. APTConfig is an 'off-line' utility that allows various system wide settings to be made such as pre-selecting mechanical stage types and associating them with specific motion controllers.

APT User Utility

The first video below gives an overview of using the APTUser Utility. The OptoDriver single channel controller products can be operated via their front panel controls in the absence of a control PC. The stored settings relating to the operation of these front panel controls can be changed using the APTUser utility. The second video illustrates this process.

APT User - Overview
APT User - OptoDriver Settings


APT Config Utility

There are various APT system-wide settings that can be made using the APT Config utility, including setting up a simulated hardware configuration and associating mechanical stages with specific motor drive channels. The first video presents a brief overview of the APT Config application. More details on creating a simulated hardware configuration and making stage associations are present in the next two videos.

APT Config - Overview
APT Config - Simulator Setup
APT Config - Stage Association


APT Programming

The APT Software System is implemented as a collection of ActiveX Controls. ActiveX Controls are language-independant software modules that provide both a graphical user interface and a programming interface. There is an ActiveX Control type for each type of hardware unit, e.g. a Motor ActiveX Control covers operation with any type of APT motor controller (DC or stepper). Many Windows software development environments and languages directly support ActiveX Controls, and, once such a Control is embedded into a custom application, all of the functionality it contains is immediately available to the application for automated operation. The videos below illustrate the basics of using the APT ActiveX Controls with LabVIEW, Visual Basic, and Visual C++. Note that many other languages support ActiveX including LabWindows CVI, C++ Builder, VB.NET, C#.NET, Office VBA, Matlab, HPVEE etc. Although these environments are not covered specifically by the tutorial videos, many of the ideas shown will still be relevant to using these other languages.

Visual Basic

Part 1 illustrates how to get an APT ActiveX Control running within Visual Basic, and Part 2 goes on to show how to program a custom positioning sequence.

APT Programming Using Visual Basic - Part 1
APT Programming Using Visual Basic - Part 2


LabVIEW

Full Active support is provided by LabVIEW and the series of tutorial videos below illustrate the basic building blocks in creating a custom APT motion control sequence. We start by showing how to call up the Thorlabs-supplied online help during software development. Part 2 illustrates how to create an APT ActiveX Control. ActiveX Controls provide both Methods (i.e. Functions) and Properties (i.e. Value Settings). Parts 3 and 4 show how to create and wire up both the methods and properties exposed by an ActiveX Control. Finally, in Part 5, we pull everything together and show a completed LabVIEW example program that demonstrates a custom move sequence.

APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 1: Accessing Online Help
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 2: Creating an ActiveX Control
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 3: Create an ActiveX Method
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 4: Create an ActiveX Property
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 5: How to Start an ActiveX Control


The following tutorial videos illustrate alternative ways of creating Method and Property nodes:

APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Create an ActiveX Method (Alternative)
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Create an ActiveX Property (Alternative)


Visual C++

Part 1 illustrates how to get an APT ActiveX Control running within Visual C++, and Part 2 goes on to show how to program a custom positioning sequence.

APT Programming with Visual C++ - Part 1
APT Programming with Visual C++ - Part 2


MATLAB

For assistance when using MATLAB and ActiveX controls with the Thorlabs APT positioners, click here.

To further assist programmers, a guide to programming the APT software in LabVIEW is also available here.


Posted Comments:
Ik Hwan Kwon  (posted 2021-09-20 11:20:20.11)
Hello, Our MZS500-E has problem that it couldn't zero-positioning. When push the Zero positioning button, The position value is -35.2432 um and Maximum voltage I thought that this problem comes from positioning sensor calibration (green plate). But, It doesn't has any feedback even manual file :) How can I fix this problem?
DJayasuriya  (posted 2021-09-21 03:49:30.0)
Thank you for your inquiry. We will get in touch with you directly to troubleshoot.
jinjie pan  (posted 2021-06-01 10:52:56.903)
我们从你们这里购买了MZS500-E这器材,但是我们自己不小心将其附带的接线弄丢了,还希望你们可以提供一下这个器材和控制器的接线的型号,我们好在购买一下,一根电源线我们型号找到了,但是另一根反馈线我们型号找不到,还希望你们可以提供一下,谢谢,希望得到您的回复。
cwright  (posted 2021-06-02 09:20:55.0)
Response from Charles at Thorlabs: Thank you for your query. A member of your local technical support team will reach out to help provide the cables you have misplaced.
laura.waller  (posted 2014-01-07 18:47:01.677)
We can only get this working with matlab Active X if we use a 32 bit PC. Who uses 32 bits these days?!? Isn't there a 64 bit automation option that will interface with Matlab?
msoulby  (posted 2014-01-08 04:36:40.0)
Response from Mike at Thorlabs: We are currently developing a 64bit software platform to replace our now old APT software which will be 64bit compatible. We are currently in an alpha test phase but hope to have an advanced beta version in the near future that we can send to customers to use. However you can use direct serial communication over a virtual comm port in order to talk directly to the controller on a 64bit machine. I have contacted you directly with details of the USB communication protocols we use and more details on its use.
kelvin.wc.poon  (posted 2013-07-15 15:15:41.773)
This is a follow to the question below. Does the max load for the stage (250g) include the weight of the accessory plates? We have weighed the latter and they are around 200g, leaving only 50g for our samples. Another concern is the single spring/tension being the only point of contact for the plates. Any rapid XY movement makes the plate shift slightly. Is there a way to improve the stability?
pbui  (posted 2013-07-18 11:39:00.0)
Response from Phong at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback. The absolute weight limit of the stage is 250g, so your sample should be 50g or less. Regarding the stability, as we mention in a note in the manual on page 13, heavier loads may be unstable. We would recommend using a lower acceleration with a profiled stop to avoid this issue.
cbrideau  (posted 2013-06-24 21:08:06.623)
Does the 250g weight limit of the MZS500 stage include the weight of the inserts such as the MZS500P4?
bdada  (posted 2011-11-03 11:33:00.0)
Response from Buki at Thorlabs: We appreciate your interest in our microscopy stages and your positive feedback about our products. We can certainly arrange for you to test our products. We have contacted you to continue this conversation.
gcolarus  (posted 2011-11-02 22:39:11.0)
Hi, I am very interested in purchasing your automated microscope stage (both x,y and piezo z) products as well as your filter wheels/shutters. I notice that they are compatible with Micromanager from the Vale website. However, I can't seem to track down a group that is using your stages with MM. Can you comment on the compatibility with MM or put me in contact with groups that have these stage components running in their labs with MM? How about Volocity or Metamorph? If possible, we would greatly appreciate a loaner unit and we could prepare a complete report as we have lots of experience with imperfect automated stages (companies shall remain un-named for now). I am keen because I have been buying different components from Thor and have not been disappointed. Pina Colarusso Live Cell Imaging Facility UCalgary

Motorized XY Scanning Stage for XYZ Stage Configuration

Key Stage Specifications
Travel Range 110 mm x 75 mm
(4.3" x 2.95")
Velocity (Max) 250 mm/s
Acceleration (Max) 2000 mm/s2
Bidirectional Repeatability 0.25 µm
Unidirectional Repeatability 0.25 µm
Horizontal Load Capacity (Max) 1.0 kg (2.2 lb)
Min Achievable Incremental Movement 0.1 µm
Home Location Accuracy 0.25 µm
Absolute On-Axis Accuracy <3 µm
  • XY Scanning Component of the Motorized XYZ Microscope Stage System
  • Integrates with Cerna®, Nikon, Olympus, and Zeiss Upright and Inverted Microscopes
  • Recommended Controller: BBD302 Dual-Axis Brushless DC Servo Motor Controller (Sold Separately)
  • Integrated Brushless DC Linear Servo Motor Actuators
  • Linear Optical Encoders
  • High-Quality, Precision-Engineered Linear Bearings
  • High Repeatability (0.25 µm) and Position Accuracy (<3 µm)

These Motorized XY Scanning Stages are required when using the MZS500-E Z-Axis Piezo Stage (sold below). When combined with the Z-axis piezo stage, it forms a versatile 3D translation stage for scanning across a sample with high precision in the X, Y, and Z axes. The MLS203-1 Stage is compatible with inverted and upright microscopes from Nikon and Olympus, as well as with upright Thorlabs Cerna microscopes; mounting brackets are required (sold below). The MLS203-2 Stage is directly compatible with Zeiss Axio Observer and Axiovert 40 microscopes; mounting brackets are not required.

The recommended controller for the XY scanning stages is the BBD302 Two-Channel Controller, which features Thorlabs' Kinesis® control and programming interface, enabling easy integration into automated microscopy applications. This controller is ideal for applications demanding operation at high speeds (hundreds of mm/s) and high encoder resolution (<100 nm). For greater flexibility, communication with the PC is supported using either a USB or RS232 interface.

The controller is supplied with a software development kit (SDK) in order to also support automated PC control of the MLS203 stages. This is useful to system integrators and other automation specialists who need to combine operation of the stage with other microscopy automation accessories. The fully documented SDK supports all major development languages running on Windows, such as LabVIEW, C++, and MATLAB, and comes in the form of ActiveX libraries or a conventional dynamic link library (DLL). Multiple units can be connected to a single PC using a USB hub; for example, the BBD302 Controller for the MLS203 XY stages and the controller supplied with our MZS500-E Z-Axis Stage Kit can be controlled simultaneously with a single PC. Please click here to view the full presentation for these Brushless DC Motor Controllers.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
MLS203-1 Support Documentation
MLS203-1Fast XY Scanning Stage
$7,531.55
5-8 Days
MLS203-2 Support Documentation
MLS203-2Fast XY Scanning Stage for Zeiss Microscopes
$7,531.55
Lead Time
BBD302 Support Documentation
BBD302Customer Inspired! 2-Channel Benchtop 3-Phase Brushless DC Servo Controller
$3,274.49
Today

Mounting Brackets for MLS203-1 XY Scanning Stage

We offer a choice of brackets to facilitate mounting the MLS203-1 stage to a range of upright and inverted microscopes from Thorlabs, Nikon, and Olympus. Please see the table below for specific compatibility. We also offer brackets that allow the MLS203-1 stage to be attached to imperial or metric breadboards for home-built microscopes or general photonics applications.

Each bracket comes with instructions describing how to attach the stage to the microscope. Please note that the MLS203-2 is directly compatible with Zeiss Axio Observer and Axiovert 40 microscopes. Mounting brackets are not required.

Click Image
for Details
CSA1000 MLSA02 MLSA02 MLSA08 MLSA03 MLSA06 MLSA07 MLSA01
Bracket Item # CSA1000 MLSA02 MLSA09 MLSA08 MLSA03 MLSA06 MLSA07 MLSA01
Microscope Brand Thorlabs Olympus Nikon Optical Breadboard,
Custom Configuration
Microscope Model Cerna® IX71, IX73,
IX81, IX83
IX70 BX41, BX43, BX51,
BX53, BX61
TE2000,
Eclipse Ti
50i, 80i,
90i, Ci-L
Eclipse FN1 N/A
Microscope Type Upright Inverted Inverted Upright Inverted Upright Upright N/A
MLS203 Attached to a Breadboard
Click to Enlarge

MLS203-1 Stage Attached to a Breadboard with our MLSA01 Bracket Set
We support microscopes from Olympus, Nikon, Zeiss and Leica. Please contact Technical Support to inquire about bracket availability if your microscope model is not listed above.
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CSA1000 Support Documentation
CSA1000Fixed Arm Holder for MLS203-1 Fast XY Scanning Stage
$737.33
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MLSA02 Support Documentation
MLSA02Olympus IX51, IX71, IX73, IX81, and IX83 Mounting Brackets, 2 Pieces
$116.86
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MLSA09 Support Documentation
MLSA09Olympus IX70 Mounting Brackets, 2 Pieces
$128.37
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MLSA08 Support Documentation
MLSA08Olympus BX41, BX43, BX51, BX53, and BX61 Adapter
$282.90
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MLSA03 Support Documentation
MLSA03Nikon TE2000 and Eclipse Ti Mounting Brackets, 2 Pieces
$142.84
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MLSA06 Support Documentation
MLSA06Nikon 50i, 80i, 90i, and Ci-L Adapter
$282.90
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MLSA07 Support Documentation
MLSA07Customer Inspired! Nikon Eclipse FN1 Mounting Adapter
$386.31
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MLSA01 Support Documentation
MLSA01MLS203 31.5 mm Riser Plates for Breadboard Mounting, 2 Pieces
$172.06
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Z-Axis Piezo Stage and Controller Bundle for XYZ Stage Configuration

Z-Axis Piezo Stage with XY Scanning Stage
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MZS500-E Z-Axis Piezo Stage Being Attached to the Motorized XY Scanning Stage
Z-Axis Stage with Multiwell Plate
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MZS500-E Z-Axis Piezo Stage with Multiwell Plate Fitted
Key Stage Specifications
Travel Range 500 µm
Resolution 25 nm
Minimum Step Size 250 nm (Typical)
Settling Time for 1 to 100 µm Step 25 ms (Typical)
  • Includes the Z-Axis Piezo Stage and Controller
  • Z-Axis Piezo Stage:
    • Z-Axis Component of the Motorized XYZ Microscope Stage System
    • Must First be Mounted to the MLS203 XY Stage (See Photo to Right)
    • Accessories, Such as Sample Plates and MZF001 Joystick Control, are Sold Below
  • Controller:
    • Quiet, High-Resolution Position Control
    • High Power: 150 V, 500 mA Continuous
    • Full Software Control Suite Supplied
    • Software Integrated with Other APT™ Family Controllers (Integrated Systems Development)
    • Closed-Loop PID Position via Capacitive Feedback Circuit
    • Voltage Ramp/Waveform Generating Capability
      (for Scanning Applications)
    • User-Controlled Digital I/O Port

The MZS500-E Z-axis stage and controller bundle includes a Z-axis stage and a closed-loop piezo controller. The piezo-driven stage provides 500 µm of vertical (Z-axis) travel, 25 nm of resolution, and a 0.5 lb (0.25 kg) max load capacity. The bundle includes everything needed for computer-controlled, Z-axis positioning and active location feedback. Please see the Specs tab for more information on the Z-axis piezo stage.

To incorporate the Z-Axis Stage into a system, it must first be mounted to an MLS203 series XY stage (shown to the upper far right). These two products combined present a versatile 3D solution for translating samples over a long range or across a sample with high precision. The stage can also be directly fitted with a multiwell plate (shown to the upper right); additional accessories can be found below.

The controller included with the stage is a single-channel, high-power (150 V, 500 mA), benchtop piezo controller for open- and closed-loop nanometer position control. Flexible software settings make this controller suitable for driving a wide range of third-party piezo products. In addition, USB connectivity provides easy plug-and-play PC operation; multiple units can be connected to a single PC via a standard USB hub for multi-axis motion control applications. Coupling this with the user-friendly APT™ software allows the user to quickly get up and running. Advanced custom motion control applications and sequences are also possible using the extensive ActiveX® programming environment. These ActiveX Controls can be incorporated into a wide range of software development environments including Labview, C++, and Matlab. Please see the Specs tab for more information on the Z-axis stage controller.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
MZS500-E Support Documentation
MZS500-EZ-Axis Piezo Stage and Controller Kit
$11,632.77
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Accessory Plates for Z-Axis Stage

MZS500P5 and MZS500P4 Breadboards
Breadboard Plate
Click to Enlarge

  • MZS500P5: 15 x 1/4"-20, 1" Pitch
  • MZS500P4: 15 x M6, 25 mm Pitch

C4SH01 Multi Slide Holder
Slide Holder Tray
Click to Enlarge

  • Plastic Holder Compatible with 25 mm x 75 mm, 1.1 ± 0.2 mm Thick Microscope Slides
  • Does Not Hold 26 mm x 76 mm Slides Sold by Thorlabs
  • Mount up to Four Slides for Automated Tissue and Tissue Microarray Analysis
  • Same Footprint as Multiwell Plates (127.6 mm × 85.5 mm)

MZS500P2 Slide/Petri Dish Holder
Slide/Petri Dish Holder
Click to Enlarge

  • Compatible with Microscope Slides Measuring 25 mm to 25.4 mm (0.98" to 1.0") in Width
  • Compatible with Petri Dishes
  • Does Not Hold 26 mm x 76 mm Slides Sold by Thorlabs
  • Measuring 30 mm to 60 mm (1.18" to 2.36") in Diameter
  • Can be Used with Imperial or Metric Accessories

MZS500P3 Blank Adapter Plate
Blank Adapter Plate
Click to Enlarge

  • Ideal for Custom Applications
  • Easily Drilled and Tapped

Breadboard Plate Application
Breadboard Plate
Click to Enlarge
MZS500P5 Mounted in the MZS500-E Z-Axis Stage

Multi Slide Holder Application
Slide Holder Tray
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C4SH01 Slide Holder Tray Mounted in the MZS500-E Z-Axis Stage

Slide/Petri Dish Application
Rotation Stage Threaded Adapter
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MZS500P2 Slide/Petri Dish Holder Mounted in the MZS500-E Z-Axis Stage with the Stage Micrometer

Blank Adapter Plate Application
Rotation Stage Grooved Adapter
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MZS500P3 Mounted in the MZS500-E Z-Axis Stage

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available
MZS500P5 Support Documentation
MZS500P5MZS500-Compatible Breadboard Plate, 1/4"-20 Taps
$127.31
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C4SH01 Support Documentation
C4SH01Four-Position Microscope Slide Holder
$87.65
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MZS500P2 Support Documentation
MZS500P2MZS500-Compatible Slide/Petri Dish Holder
$441.50
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MZS500P3 Support Documentation
MZS500P3MZS500-Compatible Blank Adapter Plate
$84.87
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MZS500P4 Support Documentation
MZS500P4MZS500-Compatible Breadboard Plate, M6 Taps
$127.31
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Z-Axis Joystick Console for Z-Axis Stage

  • High Reliability Hall Effect Finger Joystick
  • Speed Adjustment for Fast or High-Precision Moves
  • Speed Dial for Sensitivity Adjustment
  • Allows Remote Manual Control
  • Can be Reprogrammed using a Benchtop Controller and a PC
  • Ergonomic Design
  • High-Quality Machined Anodized Aluminum Casing

The MZF001 joystick console has been designed for microscope users to provide intuitive, tactile, manual positioning of the MZS500 stage. It is used in conjunction with the MZS500-E controller above. Furthermore, if the parameter settings are saved (persisted) to the controller using a PC, the controller can be disconnected from the computer allowing for remote operation.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
MZF001 Support Documentation
MZF001Single-Axis Joystick Console
$1,098.35
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2-Axis Joystick Console for XY Scanning Stage

  • Ideal for use with MLS203 Stages
  • Speed Adjustment for Fast or High Precision Moves
  • Speed Dial for Sensitivity Adjustment
  • Ergonomic Design
  • High-Quality Machined Anodized Aluminum Casing
  • High-Reliability Hall Effect Joystick

The MJC001 Joystick Console has been designed for microscope users and provides intuitive, tactile, manual positioning of the MLS203 Stages and other XY translation stages. The console features a two-axis joystick for XY control. In most applications, the default parameter settings saved within the controller allow the joystick to be used out-of-the-box, with no need for further setup, thereby negating the requirement to be connected to a host PC and allowing true remote operation.

The MJC001 is compatible with our Benchtop Brushless Controllers, Rack-Mounted Brushless Controller, and Stepper Motor ControllersThe joystick is shipped complete with cables for use with these controllers. If you intend to use the joystick with a legacy BBD10x series unit, please contact Tech Support for a compatible cable. 

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
MJC001 Support Documentation
MJC0012-Axis Microscopy Joystick Console
$1,098.35
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