Category: Nanopositioning

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 […]

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 […]

Straightness and Flatness of Air Bearings

1. Introduction When working with air bearings, we often describe the quality of motion as one of the key factors in selecting an air bearing; specifically, the straightness and flatness of travel of linear bearings and stages. Just how straight and flat? What levels of precision are achievable? In this technical note, we will discuss […]

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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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