Category: Multi-Axis Motion

Self-Locking Actuator for Hexapod Applications Combines High Push-Pull Force with Picometer Resolution for Active Optical Alignment in Astronomy

1. Introduction Astronomical telescopes usually employ active position control for primary mirror surfaces using motorized mechanical actuators. The motion needed is generally quasistatic, to compensate gravitational and thermal effects. Another application for precision actuators within the telescope at a significantly faster motion response is the high speed tip/tilt control of a secondary or tertiary mirror. […]

High Load Hexapod Test and Assembly

Testing and Qualifying Positioning Systems for Multi-Ton Loads The nano- and micro world is not limited to microscopic loads. Optics in astronomical telescopes and semiconductor lithography equipment are getting larger and heavier, while alignment tolerances that need to be met are getting tighter. Hexapod parallel-kinematic motion and positioning systems are often used in multi-axis alignment […]

PI Hexapod chosen for LISA Pathfinder Space Mission

On December 3, 2015, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft, marking the birth of the next phase of an incredible project that will one day help scientists look at the structure of galaxies and our early universe. We might even get a preview into the structure and nature of space-time itself. […]

Piezo-Mechanisms in X-Ray Spectroscopy: Energy Selection in a Beam Line

PiezoWalk principle shows advantages for Monochromator crystal fine adjustment Piezo-based mechanisms have long been used in precision scientific instruments for precision motion generation. Previously, the limited motion characteristics of simple piezo actuators often made the use of a dual stage coarse/fine approach necessary. A novel approach based on a long-travel PiezoWalk drive shows promise in […]

Patterned Motion Generation: Precision in the Time Domain

Complex patterned motion generation is becoming increasingly important for applications such as vehicular simulation and airborne platform simulation and test.  However, many other emerging fields of structural and active mechanical subsystem analysis, validation, and design can also benefit from flexible, six-degree-of-freedom motion simulator mechanisms capable of generating specific motion patterns in real time. Previously, mechanical […]

Fast Optical Alignment for SiP Production

Industry-leading speed and capability is an enabler for “photonomics” from wafer to packaged device;  2016 R&D 100 award winner! Problem The convergence of photonics and semiconductors promises a leap in data throughput, parallelism and energy efficiency. Design and materials challenges have by now been addressed. Practicalities of testing and packaging have not. Test and packaging […]

Image Stabilization and Multi-Axis Patterned Motion Simulation

Motion simulation is crucial in the evaluation of many devices, including vibrating testing of vehicles or airplanes, response testing of accelerometers or gyroscopes and image sensors such as those used in high end cameras and smartphones. Repeatable multi-axis motion simulation can help tweak advanced algorithms in image stabilization systems and verify the performance of opto-mechanical […]

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 […]

Performance and Applications of Inertia Based Positioning Drives: Q-Motion

Size matters in miniaturization and automation – smaller is usually better. Traditional electromagnetic motors have limitations when it comes to shrinking dimensions while maintaining high efficiency and accuracy of motion with minimized energy consumption. Piezo ceramic inertia motors can fill this gap. The Q-Motion dubbed miniature direct drives can be employed in linear positioners, rotary […]

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 […]

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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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