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 […]

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 […]

Nano-3D Manufacturing Technology with Piezo Mechanisms and Laser Lithography

3D printing and additive manufacturing are gaining traction in prototyping and industrial manufacturing of complex parts. Typical 3D printers can produce feature sizes down to a few 10 microns. Significantly higher resolution is available with a new laser lithography system. Here the production of complex three-dimensional micro- and nanostructures is based on photosensitive materials. In […]

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, […]

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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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