Category: Nanopositioning

Tracking Down Nanometer Instabilities: Every Detail Matters

When you work with nanometer resolution motion equipment, details matter. Instabilities can be caused by a variety of things, ranging from floor disturbances leaking past isolation systems, to acoustic energy coupled into the application structure, to tuning issues with the motion system embedded in the application, to resonant excitation of structural elements of the setup. In real life applications, instabilities […]

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. […]

Overview of Different Piezo Motor Design Principles

The basic principle of the piezo ceramic motor has been known for almost 100 years. However, it took decades to get from an idea to a reliable, industrial product. Just like with electromagnetic motors, many different types have been developed and tested over the years. Today, one can say that piezo motors have become mainstream […]

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 […]

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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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