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Accurate generation of small angles is of vital importance for calibrating angle-based metrology instruments used in a broad spectrum of industries including mechatronics, nano-positioning, and optic fabrication. We present a novel, piezo-driven, flexure device capable of reliably generating micro- and nanoradian angles. Unlike many such instruments, Diamond Light Source’s nano-angle generator (Diamond-NANGO) does not rely on two separate actuators or rotation stages to provide coarse and fine motion. Instead, a single Physik Instrumente NEXLINE “PiezoWalk” actuator provides millimetres of travel with nanometre resolution. A cartwheel flexure efficiently converts displacement from the linear actuator into rotary motion with minimal parasitic errors. Rotation of the flexure is directly measured via a Magnescale “Laserscale” angle encoder. Closed-loop operation of the PiezoWalk actuator, using high-speed feedback from the angle encoder, ensures that the Diamond-NANGO’s output drifts by only ∼0.3 nrad rms over ∼30 min. We show that the Diamond-NANGO can reliably move with unprecedented 1 nrad (∼57 ndeg) angular increments over a range of >7000 rad. An autocollimator, interferometer, and capacitive displacement sensor are used to independently confirm the Diamond-NANGO’s performance by simultaneously measuring the rotation of a reflective cube.


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