Category: Microscopy

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Fast Piezo Scanning Stages for Pixel Sub-Stepping, Image Resolution Enhancement, Super-Resolution Imaging and Vibration and Shake Suppression

Increasing the Resolution of Optical Sensor Chips: Applications of Pixel Sub-Stepping Optical Resolution in Imaging Low light conditions create difficult conditions for imaging applications from astronomy to microscopy. Low light intensity means neither the resolution of the chip nor the exposure time for changing or moving objects can be freely chosen. Typical applications are fluorescence […]

Positioning Capabilities of Ultrasonic Motors

  1.  Overview While conventional positioning systems convert the rotary motion of a motor into linear motion using a spindle, PILine® positioning systems are based on a special direct drive. This completely eliminates backlash and play and enhances the response time and positioning accuracy. Furthermore, they offer high-resolution positioning and fast step-and-settle performance. At the […]

High Stability Positioning Stage with Self-Clamping Ceramic Linear Motors Provides Long-Term Nanoscale Stability

An insidious nanoscale instability process is the quasi-asymptotic settling due to lubricant flow processes in drive, alignment and adjustment elements such as lead-screws and micrometer drives. It has been thought that this progresses at the nanoscale over many minutes, but conventional position-metrology instrumentation is typically less stable than recent process tolerances over the timescales involved, […]

Quantitative Measurement of Protein Dynamics with High Linearity Atomic Force Spectrometer

The single molecule force spectrometer described in this paper uses of fast and highly linear piezo stage. This multi-axis stage (model P-313 PicoCube) can run in open loop and provide closed-loop linearity, but at higher dynamics. The linearity, bandwidth and comparative absence of hysteretic behavior for this multi-axis assembly ensure previously unattained resolution. Combined with […]

Ultra-High Precision AFM with 6-Axis Laser and Piezo Scanner for Traceable Measurements on Semiconductors and Step Standards

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is used for surface measurements with resolution down to atomic levels – dimensions that are far beyond even the highest resolution optical microscopes. AFM is a noncontact procedure, with forces between a very fine measuring tip and the object surface revealing information about the topography, chemical surface condition, defects, etc. Atomic […]

Electron Microscopy: Nonmagnetic Drives and Stages for Vacuum

Electron microscopy allows investigations with extremely high lateral resolution down to a range of less than one nanometer. However, this places great demands on the imaging elements. And, of course, the specimens need to be positioned with the same precision to give meaningful measured results. Drives and positioning systems therefore perform important tasks in electron […]

Sensor Influence on the Precision of Piezo Positioning Stages

The choice of feedback sensor is one of the key performance factors of a piezo positioning stage. Below is a comparison between the two most commonly used sensors. When the absolute positioning information plays a critical role in scientific results, researchers prefer capacitive sensors. When cost is most important and / or results are based […]

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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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