Super-Resolution Optical Microscopy, Nanoscopy, and Nanopositioning Motion Control

Much has changed since the first optical microscope was designed in the late 16th century by Hans and Zaccharias Janssen, two Dutch spectacle makers. For the first time, their invention put multiple lenses to use, resulting in much higher magnifying power than a single lens could achieve. For almost 400 years optical microscopy did not […]

Precision Robotics and Automation: Hexapods Advance Production Processes

Summary Hexapods, six-legged parallel-kinematic machines, are quickly gaining ground in a broad range of industrial automation applications after “learning” how to directly communicate with PLC or CNC controllers via fieldbus interfaces. As far as the semiconductor and electronics industry, automobile industry, and precision assembly are concerned, many production processes have become inconceivable without them. Today, […]

Performance, Resolution, and Velocity Control of Stepper Motor-Driven Precision Positioners

Stepper Motor Basics Many processes in production, automation, and research rely on precisely moving, adjusting and aligning tools, optics, and components. Precision positioning equipment, based on a rotating electric motor and some kind of screw drive or worm gear drive to transfer and convert the output at the motor shaft into motion at the positioning […]

Advances in Precision Motorized Positioning Systems: Selection Criteria

Motion drive and control technologies are advancing rapidly. This means engineers have access to an expanding spectrum of options to leverage previously unattainable performance and form factors. Rapidly evolving production processes have driven needs for motion control systems that provide higher accuracy, speed, resolution, and repeatability. The motion industry has responded with an expanding palette […]

Surface Slope Metrology: High Precision Tilt Stage Achieves 30nrad Absolute Accuracy

A recent paper shows significant advances in the accuracy of long trace profilers, auto-collimator based deflectometers, and other surface metrology instrumentation. Scientists at the ALS X-Ray Optics Laboratory, HZB/BESSY-II and PTB devised a new universal calibration method for deflectometers.  One key component in the system is a high accuracy, piezo-motor-driven flexure tilt stage developed in […]

Sinusoidal Scanning Motion Performance: Air Bearings vs. Mechanical Bearings

Application Description Most of the motion solutions we work on typically require either point-to-point positioning or constant velocity scanning motion. In these applications, customers are usually concerned with accuracy, repeatability, or velocity regulation. One special type of motion that is occasionally required is sinusoidal scanning motion. In these applications, the motion stage is expected to […]

Image Stabilization and Multi-Axis Patterned Motion Simulation

Motion simulation is crucial in the evaluation of many devices, including vibrating testing of vehicles or airplanes, response testing of accelerometers or gyroscopes and image sensors such as those used in high end cameras and smartphones. Repeatable multi-axis motion simulation can help tweak advanced algorithms in image stabilization systems and verify the performance of opto-mechanical […]

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 […]

Ultra-High Precision Positioning Actuators to Align Mirror Segments in the ELT Telescope

Hybrid Concept Using Piezo / Voice Coil and Screw Drives for the ELT Telescope Published March 2013 The combination of “coarse” precision screw drives for long distance motion and ultra-high resolution actuators such as piezo and voice-coil-based systems allows combining travel ranges up to hundreds of millimeters with response, smoothness and resolutions not achievable with […]

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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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