Piezo Flexure Actuators, Nanopositioners, and Other Piezo Mechanisms for Precision Motion Control Applications

Flexure-guided and motion-amplified actuators and positioning stages provide convenience and performance for the OEM designer and scientist. Piezo actuators, a special form of electro-ceramics, are the gold standard when it comes to precision, speed, and force in a small package. To make them more accessible for the OEM designer, manufacturers package the actuators inside an […]

Advances in Piezo Actuators for High Frequency, High Duty Cycle Industrial Applications

1 Introduction Electromechanical conversion in piezoceramic solid-state actuators can generate highly dynamic motion. Rise times significantly less than 100μs and repetition frequencies in the kHz range are state of the art and are used in applications such as fuel injection, ink jet printing, adhesive dispensing, active vibration damping or in adaptive tools. The control frequency […]

Piezo Flexure Stages and Piezo Shear Actuators in Ion Conductance Microscopy

In contrast to Super-Resolution Optical Microscopy, scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM) does not require precision optics, instead an electrical probe tip is scanned.  Like optical microscopy, SICM is also used for studying live cells and, for example, the interaction of nanoparticles with the cell membrane. In the recently published article, “A Low-Cost, Large Field-of-View Scanning […]

Irradiation Tests for Piezo Actuators in SRF Cavity Tuner at LCLS II

Fermilab (FNAL) is contributing to the SLAC Linac Coherent Light Source II (LCLS-II) project with superconducting radio-frequency (SRF) accelerator technology and cryogenics. The LCLS-II will produce a high-power free-electron laser for research from nano/bio-technology to materials engineering. The SRF technology will increase the pulse rate from 120Hz in the current LCLS to 1MHz in the […]

Piezo Flexure Nanopositioning Stages: Frequently Asked Questions

A piezo nanopositioning stage is defined as a positioning device capable of nanometer or sub-nanometer resolution. There are several types of nanopositioners – PI also makes air bearing stages, linear motor stages and magnetic levitation stages; devices featuring the highest dynamics and precision are piezo-driven, flexure guided and equipped with direct metrology position feedback, such […]

Adaptive Optics – the Next Generation. 11,000 Actuators to Aid Search for Exoplanets with the E-ELT

PI and Fraunhofer IOF Cooperate on New Large Scale Adaptive Optics Project   Piezo-driven active mirrors (tip/tilt motion) and adaptive mirrors (multiple actuators deforming the mirror surface) have been employed in most high-end astronomical telescopes for more than two decades. The resolution gain compared to passive mirrors is typically more than one order of magnitude. […]

Piezo Transducers, Actuators, and Motor Drive Solutions for Medical Engineering

Medical engineering and life-science disciplines have multi-faceted requirements for motion and positioning equipment: the spectrum spans from ultrasonic transducers to simple low-energy drive components to high-precision positioning systems and ultra-fast actuators for valve and pumping applications. Piezoceramic transducers and motor drives meet these needs and have a long track record of reliability and ruggedness in […]

Advances in Piezo Nanopositioning Controllers – Digital vs. Analog

Digital piezo nanopositioning controllers have a reputation for being expensive and only cost efficient in high-end applications. A recent new design approach has changed this situation, making advanced digital control features affordable for main stream piezo motion applications. History of Digital Motion Controllers Position control for magnetic motors has been almost exclusively digital for nearly […]

Self-Locking Actuator for Hexapod Applications Combines High Push-Pull Force with Picometer Resolution for Active Optical Alignment in Astronomy

1. Introduction Astronomical telescopes usually employ active position control for primary mirror surfaces using motorized mechanical actuators. The motion needed is generally quasistatic, to compensate gravitational and thermal effects. Another application for precision actuators within the telescope at a significantly faster motion response is the high speed tip/tilt control of a secondary or tertiary mirror. […]

Ultra-High Precision Positioning Actuators to Align Mirror Segments in the E-ELT Telescope

Hybrid Concept Using Piezo / Voice Coil and Screw Drives for the E-ELT Telescope The combination of “coarse” precision screw drives for long distance motion and ultra-high resolution actuators such as piezo and voice-coil-based systems allows combining travel ranges up to hundreds of millimeters with response, smoothness and resolutions not achievable with conventional drives. The […]

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About PI

PI (Physik Instrumente) is a leading manufacturer of precision motion control equipment, piezo motors, air bearing stages and hexapod parallel-kinematics for semiconductor applications, photonics, bio-nano-technology and medical engineering. PI has been developing and manufacturing standard & custom precision products with piezoceramic and electromagnetic drives for 4 decades. The company has been ISO 9001 certified since 1994 and provides innovative, high-quality solutions for OEM and research. PI is present worldwide with fifteen subsidiaries, R&D / engineering on 3 continents and total staff of more than 1,000.

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