Mad City Labs Inc

Madison, WI 53713


About Mad City Labs Inc

Mad City Labs designs & manufactures nanopositioning and micropositioning systems suitable for photonics, interferometry, microscopy, astronomy, and imaging applications.

Product Summary

Our piezo nanopositioning product line covers the entire spectrum of piezo nanopositioning capabilities while maintaining a leadership role in multi-axis stages for high speed optical microscopy imaging.


2524 Todd Dr
Madison, WI 53713
United States

More Info on Mad City Labs Inc

Mcl Logo 2010

Mad City Labs designs & manufactures nanopositioners, micropositioners and microscopy instruments suitable for photonics, interferometry, life sciences, astronomy, metrology and imaging applications. We offer closed loop piezo nanopositioners, microscope stages, precision micropositoners, RM21® single molecule microscopes, and atomic force microscopes (AFM and NSOM).


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Positioning & sensing equipment

Piezo nanopositioners for optical and force microscopy

Ultra-low profile 3 axis nanopositioning system with sub-nanometer precision under closed loop control. Designed for single molecule microscopy, super resolution microscopy and...
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Positioning & sensing equipment


The Mad-Deck™ is a versatile stage platform designed for a variety of advanced microscopy techniques. It is ideal for microscopy and imaging applications that require free access...
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QS-PLL™ AFM Controller

QS-PLL™ is an atomic force microscope (AFM) controller designed for use with resonant probes, such as tuning forks, and Mad City Labs nanopositioners and micropositioners. The...
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Positioning & sensing equipment

MMP Series

The MMP series are precision, stepper motor driven micropositioners with 25mm travel and 95nm step size. Available in 1, 2 or 3 axis models and are modular in design.
Nano Mta2
Positioning & sensing equipment

Nano-MTA Series

Closed loop piezo nanopositioning system for beam steering. Single and two axis models with up to 10 milliradians of motion per axis. The Nano-MTA has nanoradian resolution and...
Micro Mirror Tirf Microscope 2017

RM21 MicroMirror TIRF Microscope

The MicroMirror TIRF microscope is a unique single molecule microscope. Spatial separation of the excitation and emission beams and the use of broadband micromirrors leads to ...
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Positioning & sensing equipment


The Nano-METZ is a compact z-axis piezo nanopositioning system designed for high speed scanning and ultra-low noise characteristics for demanding AFM and metrology applications...
Piezo nanopositioners for photonics and metrology. (L-R) Nano-MTA2, Nano-METZ, Nano-OP30. Mad City Labs Inc.
Piezoelectric transducers & translators

Closed Loop Piezo Nanopositioners

Our closed loop, flexure guided designs combined with proprietary PicoQ® position sensors provides sub-nanometer resolution and outstanding stability for nanoscale positioning...
Mad360™ rotational stage. Copyright Mad City Labs Inc.
Positioning & sensing equipment

Mad360™: Precision rotational positioning

The Mad360™ is a direct drive stepper motor driven, rotational system. The Mad360™ has bidirectional, continuous 360° rotation and is compatible with Mad City Labs MMP linear ...
Nano-3D200GT (groove top). Copyright Mad City Labs Inc.
Positioning & sensing equipment

Nano-3D200: Compact XYZ nanopositioner

The Nano-3D200 is a compact three axis (XYZ) piezo nanopositioning system constructed from aluminum. The compact design of the Nano-3D200 allows it to be easily integrated with...

Press Releases

Source: Mad City Labs Inc.
Buyer's Guide

Mad360™: Precision rotational positioning system

The rotational motion is bidirectional and continuous 360°. Minimum rotational steps of 1 milliradian and capable of speeds up to 20 rotations/second, the Mad360™ is a versatile...


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Building a DIY Atomic Force Microscope

Atomic force microscopes (AFMs) are versatile tools for characterizing surfaces down to the subnanometer scale. Researchers wanting to,say, map out the optical antennas they’ve...
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Positioning & sensing equipment

Confirming Picometer Performance

When evaluating nanopositioners and their performance, interpreting published specifications from multiple vendors is challenging. In addition, the technical specification is ...

Principles of Scanning Nitrogen-Vacancy Magnetometry explained

Prof. Kapildeb Ambal at Wichita State University describes the principles behind scanning NV magnetometry and how it can be used within the scope of condensed matter physics and...


(Courtesy of PI)
FIGURE 1. In the development of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, a nanopositioning system created by PI features a high-precision, 6-axis robotic hexapod, used to align the telescope’s 18 large mirror segments.
Software & Accessories

Evolving nanopositioning systems expand application base

As biotechnology, laser processing, astronomy, and other applications advance, the evolution of nanometer-precise motion control and positioning with high throughput will be crucial...
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Positioning, Support & Accessories

Mad City Labs rotational positioning system offers bidirectional rotational motion

The Mad360 rotational stage for use in alignment, metrology, magnetic tweezer, and optical microscopy applications offers bidirectional rotational motion and continuous 360°.
FIGURE 1. A Nano-MTA2 nanopositioner is commanded with a 25 nrad peak-to-peak square wave at 1 Hz; the external angular-displacement measurement (a) and position-sensor output voltage (b) are shown as a function of time.
Test & Measurement

Nanopositioning: Piezo nanopositioners are at the core of nanoscale instrument design

Nanoscale systems from atomic-force microscopes to the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) achieve their feats through piezo nanopositioning.
(Courtesy of Coherent)
Neuroscience 2015 featured rotating poster presentations in the exhibit hall.

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 1

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and physics. This trend has been noticed by exhibitors at the Society for Neuroscience...
(Courtesy of the Special Collections & Archives Department, Nimitz Library, U.S. Naval Academy)
FIGURE 1. The Michelson-Morley experiment was performed on this slab in the basement of a stone dormitory at Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
Positioning, Support & Accessories

Positioning equipment - the challenge of building a solid foundation for optics

Stability and precision have been crucial for optics since the 19th century. The birth of holography and other precision laser measurements brought a new generation of equipment...
Positioning, Support & Accessories

Mad City Labs 3D image stabilization system overcomes microscope drift

The Nano-Cyte LC is an image-based, platform-independent stabilization system for live-cell imaging.
(Courtesy of Nanosensors)
FIGURE 1. The cantilever and sharp tip span the tines of a quartz tuning fork in the Akiyama-probe resonant surface-probe sensor. The tines vibrate in an opposing motion while the cantilever vibrates perpendicular to the tine motion.
Positioning, Support & Accessories

NANOPOSITIONING: Piezoelectric nanopositioners forge low-cost atomic force microscope

In the nanopositioning industry, prices continue to fall as resolution, linearity, and reliability improve. Engineers can now use standard optical components and off-the-shelf...
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Positioning, Support & Accessories

Mad City Labs lens positioner is mountable on microscopes, optical fixtures

The Nano-F3D lens nanopositioning system is designed to position an objective lens in three dimensions with sub-nanometer accuracy and repeatability.
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Positioning, Support & Accessories

Mad City Labs resonant scanning probe microscope kit for research and teaching labs

MadPLL is a fully integrated instrument package that allows the user to create an inexpensive, high-resolution resonant scanning probe microscope.
(Courtesy of Piezosystem Jena USA)
FIGURE 1. The MICI80-KMI53 microscopy stage from Piezosystem Jena, available in both open- and closed-loop versions, can be used for positioning or scanning with sub-nanometer resolution. The ultrastiff flexure design drives the digital micrometer heads with a resolution of 1 µm, a manual range of motion of 25 mm in the x-y axes, and a piezo-based range of motion of 80 µm. A proprietary frame design links the x-y axes in a single piece of metal for superior orthogonality and flatness. A special coil spring system delivers a constant force throughout the manual travel range of the stage, allowing preload optimization over the entire range of travel for extremely low drifting behavior.
Positioning, Support & Accessories

PRODUCT FOCUS: NANOPOSITIONERS: Nanopositioning equipment answers the call from the world of the very small

Manufacturers have made strides in stages and flexure design to enable fast, accurate, nanometer-scale motion control in high-resolution microscopy and other short-travel applications...

Buyer's Guide Listing Information

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Additional content from Mad City Labs Inc

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Mad City Labs AFM and NSOM products

Mad City Labs’ SPM-M kit is suitable for both research and teaching environments. The assembled SPM is a high performance, closed loop scanning resonant probe microscope.
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Instrumentation, metrology

Extreme Metrology: Big science requires a nano-perspective

Extreme metrology represents the cutting edge in technological demand from the material researchers, astronomers, and other physicists whose work demands nearly unattainable precision...
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Is a DIY Microscope for you?

This article helps readers determine whether a do-it-yourself (DIY) microscope is the appropriate solution for their application. It then details how to procure an instrument ...
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Understanding virus mechanisms – one particle at a time

Single-molecule microscopy techniques facilitate direct study of molecular mechanisms, enabling leaps in understanding surrounding how viruses assemble, disassemble, and interact...
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Positioning & sensing equipment

Understand noise at the sub-nanometer scale.

Every positioner has some level of uncertainty in its position, some slight amount of movement that contributes noise to a measurement.
Buyer's Guide

Ultra-Low Position Noise

Mad City Labs piezo nanopositioners include integrated, high-bandwidth, direct measurement position sensors with proprietary PicoQ® sensor technology, yielding unmatched ...
Piezoelectric transducers & translators

PicoQ® position sensors provide ultra-low noise performance

Mad City Labs proprietary PicoQ® position sensors provide ultra-low noise performance and stability. They outperform traditional capacitive sensors and can be used without performance...

Customization examples for the SPM-M kit.

Customization examples for the SPM-M kit. Ideas on how to configure a quartz tuning fork AFM for a variety of applications.
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Multilayer piezoactuators

The PZT range of products are individual piezo actuator stacks, that are ready to use in a variety of applications. In most cases, these items are in stock and can be delivered...
PA3 3 channel amplifier for piezoactuators. Copyright Mad City Labs Inc.

PA3: 3 channel amplifier for piezoactuators

The PA3 is a three channel amplifier suitable for driving low voltage (150V) piezo actuators. The PA3 amplifier combines low noise and outstanding stability with high power output...
Piezoelectric transducers & translators

Z-axis piezo nanopositioners

Product information for z-axis nanopositioners for inverted and upright microscopes. Applications: super resolution microscopy, confocal microscopy, high content imaging.
Manual MicroStage for Olympus BX upright microscope. Copyright Mad City Labs Inc.

Microscope Stages: Manual and Motorized

Mad City Labs offers a variety of microscope stages compatible with inverted and upright optical microscopes. Our microscope stages are designed specifically for use with piezo...
SPM-MZ precision Z-axis micropositioner.
Positioning & sensing equipment

SPM-MZ: Precision micropositioning for metrology and microscopy

The SPM-MZ employs our proprietary intelligent motor control for low drift performance and incorporates a built-in right angle bracket to ensure high stability. The total travel...
Nano-Z series piezo nanopositioner for optical microscopy and confocal microscopy. Mad City Labs Inc.
Piezoelectric transducers & translators

Nano-Z Series piezo nanopositioners for microscopy

Low profile, piezo Z-axis nanopositioners compatible with inverted and upright microscopes. Fully removable from your existing microscope stage. Compatible with slides, petri ...
Buyer's Guide

Building a Do-It-Yourself Atomic Force Microscope

Homemade AFMs are low-cost and high-performance and provide flexibility and customization.
Buyer's Guide

MMP Series micropositioner product brochure

Technical specifications of the MMP series micropositioners.
Buyer's Guide

Measuring atomic steps using Mad City Labs SPM-M kit

Mad City Labs piezo nanopositioning systems with PicoQ® sensor technology are independently calibrated using NIST-traceable interferometric methods. This calibration can be...
Buyer's Guide

Technical Brochure for MCL-NSOM

Technical specifications for MCL-NSOM
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MCL-NSOM: Low cost near field scanning optical microscope

The MCL-NSOM is a fully operational near field scanning optical microscope. It has been built on Mad City Labs versatile RM21® inverted optical microscope which allows users to...
MMP single axis micropositioner.
Positioning & sensing equipment

MMP Series: Compact high precision micropositioning systems for nanoscale motion

The MMP Series are nanopositioner-ready, stepper motor driven, micropositioning systems for high precision positioning for a variety of applications. Long range linear positioning...
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Positioning & sensing equipment

Nano-LPS Series: low profile XYZ piezo nanopositioning system

The Nano-LPS Series are ultra-low profile, three axis piezo nanopositioning systems with 100, 200, and 300 micron ranges of motion in all three axes. The low height of the Nano...
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SPM-M kit: resonant probe AFM with atomic step resolution

The SPM-M Kit combines the MadPLL® instrument package with Mad City Labs high resolution piezo nanpositioning systems to form a high performance, closed loop, scanning Akiyama...
RM21® MicroMirror TIRF microscope. Mad City Labs Inc.

MicroMirror TIRF microscope (part of the RM21® Single Molecule Microscope family)

The Mad City Labs' MicroMirror TIRF microscope is part of our RM21® microscope family and draw on our expertise with high precision, high stability piezo nanopositioning systems...
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Positioning & sensing equipment

Nano-F Series (objective lens nanopositioning)

The Nano-F Series are piezo nanopositioner focusing elements with 100 or 200 microns of travel. Internal position sensors utilizing proprietary PicoQ® technology provide absolute...
Nano-MTA2 series: tip/tilt beam steering piezo nanopositioner. Copyright Mad City Labs Inc.
Positioning & sensing equipment

Nano-MTA Series: piezo tip/tilt nanopositioning system for beam steering

The Nano-MTA Series are single axis and two axis piezo nanopositioning mirror tip/tilt actuators. With nanoradian resolution, the Nano-MTA Series is ideal for applications involving...
Buyer's Guide

OEM Nano-Drive ® Controller

The Nano-Drive Series of controllers are complete electronic packages for sub-nanometer positioning.
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Positioning & sensing equipment

Nano-HS Series: Low noise, picometer positioning resolution for metrology

High speed, closed loop multi-axis, piezo nanopositioning system with picometer positioning resolution. Compact, ultra-low noise (
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Positioning & sensing equipment

Nano-F25HS: high speed piezo objective lens nanopositioner

The Nano-F25HS is a high speed closed loop piezo nanopositioner focusing element with 25 microns of travel. Ideal for high speed autofocus and imaging.
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Positioning, Support & Accessories

NANOPOSITIONING EQUIPMENT: Understanding noise at the nanometer scale

Nanopositioning is basic to research in virtually all areas of nanotechnology and, because it implies very small movement controlled with a high degree of accuracy, it seems intuitive...
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Positioning, Support & Accessories

Rotational flexures deliver high precision

Many applications now demand high-speed rotational motion, ultra­sensitive rotational motion, or both.