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 […]

Improving Accuracy of Long Travel Linear Positioning Stages with Error Mapping

Linear encoders significantly improve the accuracy and repeatability in stepper or servo-motor positioning stages based on lead or ballscrew drives – they remove drivetrain based play, backlash, and screw pitch errors. But even the best linear encoders are not perfectly linear. As long as these linearity errors are repeatable, there is a way to reduce […]

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 […]

Hexapods and Parallel Kinematics Positioning Systems FAQs

Hexapod positioners are often referred to as Stewart Platforms. A hexapod is based on a 6-axis (XYZ, Pitch, Roll, Yaw) actuator system arranged in parallel between a top and bottom platform. PI parallel kinematics (PKM) precision positioning systems have many advantages over serial kinematics stages, such as lower inertia, improved dynamics, smaller package size, and […]

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 […]

Advances in Precision Motorized Positioning Systems: Selection Criteria

Motion drive and control technologies are advancing rapidly. This means engineers have access to an expanding spectrum of options to leverage previously unattainable performance and form factors. Rapidly evolving production processes have driven needs for motion control systems that provide higher accuracy, speed, resolution, and repeatability. The motion industry has responded with an expanding palette […]

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 […]

Precision Motion and Positioning Equipment on Mars Rover Curiosity – Still Going Strong

Almost 4 years after Curiosity landed on Mars, it is still up and running – and while it has not discovered current life forms, the basic question whether Mars could have once supported an environment for primitive life forms is a clear “yes”, according to NASA scientists. The rover identified carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, nitrogen, […]

Advances in Precision Positioning Stage Design-Optimized Outgassing and Motion Performance in Ultra-High Vacuum Applications

Many processes in advanced research and industrial manufacturing can only be performed in a vacuum, such as thin-film sputtering and ion milling, and technologies formerly reserved for exotic materials processing are seeing application in new fields. And of course the march of Moore’s Law means new types of equipment have been developed that impose vacuum […]

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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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