Category: Nanopositioning

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 […]

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 […]

Raman Imaging and AFM Microscopy with Piezo-Flexure Based Nanopositioning Stages

Very often individual classical microscopic methods are no longer sufficient in terms of optical resolution or information content. The combination of different microscopic methods yields more extensive and more accurate measurement data. This combination of methods makes high demands on the individual components of the microscopes, and the sample positioning mechanisms. Ultra-High Resolution Microscopy in […]

Measuring the Smallest Resolution of a Positioning Stage

The trace above, measured by a laser interferometer, shows peak-to peak noise (black) of a linear motor positioning system on the order of 1.8 nm (controller is actively holding a position, no position change commanded). The noise measured by the external metrology (laser) contains the sum of all mechanical and electrical sources – the amplifier […]

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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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