Nanopositioning Metrology, Gödel, and Bootstraps

Why External Metrology Matters in Nanopositioning More than 80 years ago, a discovery by Austrian Kurt Gödel put an end to the dream mathematicians had pursued for centuries: a final unifying “Theory of Everything” or the idea that a system could be devised strong enough to verify itself. Gödel’s findings may seem rather obvious, but […]

Nanopositioning stages help create and characterize laser-written waveguides inside silicon

The future of computing and data communications will rely on a combination of optics and electronics. Silicon photonics circuits are gaining in importance; new techniques and tools for test and production of SiP related technologies are being researched and developed around the world. Direct laser writing of waveguides deep inside the bulk of monolithic crystalline […]

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 […]

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 […]

Super-Resolution Optical Microscopy, Nanoscopy, and Nanopositioning Motion Control

Much has changed since the first optical microscope was designed in the late 16th century by Hans and Zaccharias Janssen, two Dutch spectacle makers. For the first time, their invention put multiple lenses to use, resulting in much higher magnifying power than a single lens could achieve. For almost 400 years optical microscopy did not […]

Nanopositioning: How Mounting and Environmental Conditions Affect Performance

Nanopositioning equipment manufacturers can follow the latest design rules and put the best components into their mechanisms and controllers, often to no avail. If the user does not take the time to follow best practices for mounting, figuring out a suitable supporting structure, the right cable draping, and environmental conditions, much of the intrinsic performance […]

Raman Imaging and AFM Microscopy with Piezo-Flexure Based Nanopositioning Stages

Very often individual classical microscopic methods are no longer sufficient in terms of optical resolution or information content. The combination of different microscopic methods yields more extensive and more accurate measurement data. This combination of methods makes high demands on the individual components of the microscopes, and the sample positioning mechanisms. Ultra-High Resolution Microscopy in […]

EtherCAT®: Ethernet for Control Automation Technology and its Advantages for Precision Motion Systems

The fastest Industrial Ethernet-based fieldbus system keeps gaining popularity for a variety of reasons. EtherCAT® is a modern, cost efficient, open real-time Ethernet-based fieldbus system. It is a registered trademark and patented technology, licensed by Beckhoff Automation GmbH, Germany. EtherCAT is short for “Ethernet for Control Automation Technology” and is used by control and system […]

“Micropositioning” – Classical Precision Positioning Technologies still Going Strong

Striking the right balance between affordability, accuracy, and reliability Traditional linear and rotary “micropositioning” stages are based on servo and stepper motor-driven leadcrews and ballscrews and mechanical bearings. They are classical components for precision motion control applications, spanning from lab-automation to industrial assembly and inspection. “Micropositioning” got its name from precision levels in the micrometer […]

From IoT to IoP – the Internet of Smart Piezos

A discussion with leading piezo experts on ceramics, nanopositioning, intelligent piezo systems, and weather stations Q&A with Dr. Harry Marth, Head of Piezo Technology Innovation, and Dr. Mathias Bach, Head of Piezo Systems at Physik Instrumente (PI), Karlsruhe, Germany. Most people would be looking forward to retirement after a successful career of 45 years. But […]

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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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