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 Acoustics: Turning Windows into Invisible Speakers and Helping James Bond Keep Secrets

Piezo transducers can turn vibration into electric energy (“the direct piezo effect”) and electric energy into motion (“the inverse piezoelectric effect”). They are used in everyday applications from buzzers to gas igniters and in high-tech markets from medical to semiconductor applications. Typical piezo elements are made of PZT ceramics and the piezoelectric effect responsible for […]

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 […]

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 […]

Automation and Microscopy: Faster Test & Measurement, Surface Metrology – Piezo Speed is Enabler for 100% Testing

Everybody who commutes by car is familiar with the concept: constant velocity gets you faster to your destination than stop-and-go traffic. This well-known principle from the macro-world is now employed in the nano-world by scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, Germany. Their solution speeds up microscopic testing of large-surface objects, […]

Piezo Sensors (PZT) vs Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) Sensors in Structural Health Monitoring

An interesting new research paper on this subject was published recently by the Institute for Construction Science and the Department of Structural Mechanics, Technical University of Madrid, Spain. They compared the two methods on Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP) composites for repairing and strengthening structures in service. The bottom line was that PZT sensors with […]

Methods to Improve Piezo Dynamics, Accuracy and Linearity: Preshaping / DDL / APC

Piezoelectric materials, like most electro-ceramics, do not show perfectly linear displacement behavior compared to the input voltage. Closed-loop operation with position feedback usually takes care of the nonlinearities.  Although perfect settling to the desired position is achieved to nanometric scale in positioning operation, the deviation in dynamic continuous motion operation can in some cases be […]

Ultrasonic Piezo Transducers: From Welding to Medical Applications

Standard PZT and Lead-Free Piezo Ceramics Ultrasound has been used in nature for navigation above and under water. Bats and dolphins are but two species who perfected the transmission, reception, and processing over millions of years. Frequencies above 20 kHz – above the hearing range of the human ear – are labelled as ultrasound. What […]

Overview of Different Piezo Motor Design Principles

The basic principle of the piezo ceramic motor has been known for almost 100 years. However, it took decades to get from an idea to a reliable, industrial product. Just like with electromagnetic motors, many different types have been developed and tested over the years. Today, one can say that piezo motors have become mainstream […]

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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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