Piezo Flexure Stages and Piezo Shear Actuators in Ion Conductance Microscopy

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Image: Paul Venter, Wikipedia
Image: Paul Venter, Wikipedia

In contrast to Super-Resolution Optical Microscopy, scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM) does not require precision optics, instead an electrical probe tip is scanned.  Like optical microscopy, SICM is also used for studying live cells and, for example, the interaction of nanoparticles with the cell membrane.

In the recently published article, “A Low-Cost, Large Field-of-View Scanning Ion Conductance Microscope for Studying Nanoparticle–Cell Membrane Interactions” by Gesper et al, a compact and affordable setup is described that can boost spatial resolution to 70 nanometers and below, while observing a rather large square area of 80 micrometers.  The system consists of a compact P-611 NanoCube XYZ piezo nanopositioning stage and an additional fast P-111.05, high-speed piezo shear actuator, providing 5µm lateral motion, with 155kHz resonant frequency.

Left: Variety piezo shear actuators [http://www.pi-usa.us/products/PiezoActuators/index.php#PSAM]. These actuators provide lateral motion over several microns of travel. Single and multi-axis versions are available. (Image: PI Ceramic) Right: A P-611 NanoCube® XYZ piezo nanopositioning stage. This stage provides up to 100µm travel and precision guidance through a frictionless flexure mechanism. Position feedback is available for closed-loop operation with improved accuracy and linearity. (Image: PI)
Left: Variety piezo shear actuators. These actuators provide lateral motion over several microns of travel. Single and multi-axis versions are available. (Image: PI Ceramic)
Right: A P-611 NanoCube® XYZ piezo nanopositioning stage. This stage provides up to 100µm travel and precision guidance through a frictionless flexure mechanism. Position feedback is available for closed-loop operation with improved accuracy and linearity. (Image: PI)

More information: Abstract of the article

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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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