XY360: ferrofluid microscope stage

Themes: High Tech

Early prototype

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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Ferrofluid offers a 10 to 100 times more cost effective way to combine translation and rotation in high precision nanometre positioning systems such as microscope stages.


The microscope stage, named XY360, is supported by drops of ferrofluid, a colloidal liquid of oil and ferromagnetic nanoparticles. The oil's lubrication and viscous damping enable a robust, compact and cost effective high precision stage.


A functioning early prototype is now available for investors and microscope fabricators. Other potential applications of ferrofluid are stick-slip-free high precision bearings, targeted lubrication, active seals, micro valves, medical applications, art, and more.

Ir. Jo Spronck


Ir. Stefan Lampaert