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 […]

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 […]

Top 7 Air Bearing Myths

1. Air bearings are expensive. PIglide air bearings with no motors start at under $2k for a simple linear air bearing slide bearings and under $3k for a small rotary bearing. 2. Air bearings are only used for high speed motion. It’s true that air bearings are used in many high speed applications and can […]

Why To Use Air Bearing Stages Over Mechanical Bearings

Most motion applications are perfectly well-served by mechanical bearing guidance; but there are many cases where precision, angular repeatability, and geometric performance must be optimal or where vibration and sub-micron bearing rumble is problematic. An air-bearing stage can help in these situations. An air-bearing stage is a rotary or linear positioner that floats on a […]

Stacks of Single Axis Stages vs. Hexapods

When faced with a multi-axis motion application, many users stack motion stages, and in fact that is a fine approach for assemblies of just a few axes. But as applications become more complex, so do the equivalent stacks-of-stages, and very real and practical considerations begin to come into play. Stiffness.  Some stage manufacturers publish stiffness […]

Silicon Photonics Test and Alignment

The need for higher performance computing and data-communication speed has led to the advent of silicon photonics. In addition, to higher performance, silicon photonics can also reduce the power requirements of next generation server farms significantly. Challenges With the advantages, this new technology also brings about several production challenges, including the need for test platforms […]

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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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