Category: Nanopositioning

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Performance of Direct-Drive Linear Motor Stages in Precision Positioning Applications

Brushless direct drive linear motors provide advantages over leadscrew and ballscrew driven positioning stages when it comes parameters such as acceleration, maximum speed, accuracy, constancy of velocity, and avoidance of vibration. This article explains types of motors, encoders and provides test data of PI’s new V-551 linear motor stage.   Iron Core and Ironless Motors […]

Piezo Flexure Actuators, Nanopositioners, and Other Piezo Mechanisms for Precision Motion Control Applications

Flexure-guided and motion-amplified actuators and positioning stages provide convenience and performance for the OEM designer and scientist. Piezo actuators, a special form of electro-ceramics, are the gold standard when it comes to precision, speed, and force in a small package. To make them more accessible for the OEM designer, manufacturers package the actuators inside an […]

Using Spherical Air Bearings in Satellite Testing

As new satellite programs become more popular, such as NASA’s CubeSat program, the need for satellite test systems is becoming more urgent. NASA has launched more than 30 CubeSats over the last several years, and as of 2015, it has a backlog of more than 50 awaiting launch. The various commercial and academic institutions building […]

Reliability of Ultrasonic Motors

1.  Overview PILine® positioning systems are based on a direct drive using ultrasonic piezo motors. Therefore, very low response times as well as accurate positioning can be accomplished. Due to the particular operating principle, PILine® ultrasonic motors are self-locking even when switched off, a great advantage when it comes to position stability. Ultrasonic motors are […]

Scanning Performance of Air Bearings

1.  Introduction A common application in which an air bearing is specified is scanning. Scanning involves moving either a work-piece or an optic at a constant velocity, while a reading or writing operation takes place. Such operations include printing and image-setting (i.e., writing) and imaging (i.e., reading). While the physical act of writing an image […]

Advances in Piezo Mechanics Aid Eye Surgery

Piezo motion-based mechanisms provide a variety of features that are highly sought after in life-science and medical engineering applications, such sterile ceramic designs and lubricant-free drives. Ceramics are also non-magnetic, an advantage in high-energy imaging/scanning based on strong magnetic fields. Piezo mechanisms can also provide very precise motion with incredible speed. Successful correction of vision […]

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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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