Abstract:We investigate the energy consumption and seek-time performance of different actuator types for nanopositioners, with emphasis on their use in a parallel-probe-based data-storage system. Analytical models are derived to calculate the energy consumption and performance of electrodynamic (coil and permanent magnet) and comb-drive actuators. The equations are used to simulate the operation of probe-storage devices with these actuator types under a realistic file system load. The electrostatic comb-drive actuators are more energy efficient than the electrodynamic actuators, by an order of magnitude for slow movements and a factor of 2.5 for high-acceleration movements. Overall in a probe-storage device, comb-drive actuation is a factor of 3.3 more energy efficient than electrodynamic actuation, at the same level of performance. The analytical model presented in this work can be used to direct the optimization of nanopositioners and their use, for example, in terms of the data layout on the medium and the ‘shutdown’ policy of probe-storage devices.