Linear Scales

Linear Scales
Precision Glass Linear scales

Precision scales track complement optical reflective read head encoder modules. Fine feature [nanometer] mask photolithography used creates accurate and repeatable patterns.

The majority of linear scale applications work well with soda-lime glass with reflective chrome metal pattern on top and anti-reflective chrome backside. Common pitches range from 100µm to 20µm or as required for specific industry encoders. Process capable of 1µm track pattern (2µm period).

Production scales match the encoder, physical, environmental, and performance requirements. We’ll process coatings for specific wavelengths matched to requirements.  For applications requiring best accuracies over long lengths or over temperature range, glass compositions with very low CTE are used.

Track periods of 20µm, 40µm, 100µm are common. We'll manufacture scales to 2µm period (1µm reflective +1µm clear or anti-reflective) when needed.

Glass ScaleStandardExtended Length
Base Material

Soda-Lime Glass


Up to 160mm

>160 to 700mm

Length Tolerances




As specified

(3mm or 6mm are often used)

As Specified

Width Tolerances



Thickness Range

0.3 to 1.1

1.0 to 6.0mm

Thickness Tolerances



Pitch (total tolerance)

± 2.0µm

Pitch (local tolerance)

±1.0 µm

Pitch/Period AccuracyLocal  ±1µm
Total  ±2µm
Chrome reflective layerStandard505460%
Enhanced(620-650 nm)889398%
Chrome anti-reflective layer @ 620-650nmAR <25%
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