Technotes & White Papers / Application Articles: Piezo / Micro- / Nanopositioning Motion Control: Technical Research Paper
Technotes & Papers / Applications of Piezo / Micro- / Nanopositioning Technology
PI Precision Nanopositioning & Micropositioning Solutions have helped customers in many industrial fields and research laboratories to achieve higher precision faster. Download the papers below or request a catalog for more information on our products.

Nanopositioning & Micropositioning Technology
Nanometer scale stability achieved with direct drive, self clamping piezo motor drives in "Recent Advancements in Motion Control with Long-Term Nanoscale Stability, Including a Novel, Comparative Validation Technique", Poster from ASPE conference.
New highly linear piezo material used in XYZ nanopositoner allows pico-meter resolution positioning, for example in protein research Novel, High-Linearity Atomic-Force-Spectrometer Apparatus for Quantitative Measurement of Protein Dynamics, Poster from GRC conference, by Scott Jordan, Peter Adib, Sergi Garcia-Manyes.
PDF HTML Nanopositioning: how to make the right choices The range of nanopositioning solutions on the market is broader than ever before as applications continue to drive the technology.
PDF Keeping Pace: Nanopositioning has enjoyed a blistering rate of innovation, both in new technologies and in rapidly advancing applications. The available array of powerful new technologies is good news for customers, but close partnership between engineer and vendor has never been more important.
PDF Patented New Technology Provides Enhanced Positioning Resolution. A newly patented technology adds up to 10 bits of resolution to virtually any OEM DAC and popular PC analog I/O boards without hardware modifications and with full compatibility with legacy software.
Piezoelectric Technology Eases Navigation in the Nanoworld. Comparison of Piezo Actuators, Ultrasonic Piezomotors, PiezoWalk Drives® and Flexure Guided Nanopositioning Stages. From Laser Focus World, June 2005.
HTML Nanopositioning: Racing Forward From Photonics Directory
PDF NEXLINE® High Force, High Resolution, Long Travel Linear Actuators / Positioning Systems Featuring Picometer Resolution and Millimeters of Travel From SEMI Technology Innovation Showcase (TIS) 2005
PDF Nanopositioning: Fighting the Myths. From, OLE (Opto Laser Europe), November 2004
PDF Nanoengines Open up New Nanotechnology Applications Breakthrough in Multilayer Piezoactuator Technology. From EuroPhotonics, Feb/March 2003 issue. (345 KB PDF)
HTML Eliminating Vibration in the Nano-World from Photonics Spectra, July 2002. (988 KB PDF)
PDF Why Nanopositioning is not as simple as 1-2-3. (PDF)
PDF Piezo Tutorial: Nanopositioning with Piezoelectrics
PDF Extreme Life Time Tests for PICMA® Piezo Actuators Dr. Bosotti, of the University of Milano, Italy, has devised a test setup to provide data equivalent to 10 years of continous operation in ILC cavities.
PDF Advances in Piezoelectric Nanopositioning Technology From Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM 2003) in Kobe, Japan. The paper describes the advances of piezoelectric actuation and nanopositioning technology.
Biotech, Microscopy, Medical Design
GRC Conference Poster: Novel, High-Linearity Atomic-Force-Spectrometer Apparatus for Quantitative Measurement of Protein Dynamics , by Scott Jordan, Peter Adib, Sergi Garcia-Manyes.
Faster Autofocus with Laser and Piezo Scanner Engineers at Motion X and PI have developed a novel, laser-based system that combines Motion X's high-bandwidth autofocus sensor with PI's high-speed piezo driven PIFOC® objective and Z positioners.
P-733 Piezo Stage in STED Microscopy Applications & Biotech Applications
Medical Design with Piezo Actuators & Motors . Compactness, lower voltage requirements, higher torque, shorter response time, less heat, and nonmagnetic and vacuum compatible, are reasons why piezoelectric motors and actuators are found in an ever-widening range of medical devices and equipment. More:
PDF Active vibration isolation technology that is enabling 22nm scale lithography in semiconductor processes can also improve stability and resolution in super-resolution microscopy techniques.
Design considerations for micro- and nanopositioning: leveraging the latest for biophysical applications. Compares stability of ceramic-motor driven stages to leadscrew and micrometer driven microscopy stages. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2009 Aug;10(5):515-21
Download Complete Paper (PDF)
PDF Piezo Motor in OCT Scanner.
PDF Stabilization of an optical microscope to 0.1 nm in three dimensions. Ashley R. Carter, Gavin M. King, Thomas T. Perkins et al, JILA, University of Colorado and National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, Co. Features a P-517 Closed-Loop XYZ Piezo Stage and an E-710.P3D high-speed digital piezo controller.
HTML UVA Researchers Have an Ear for Fine Motion Control. Piezo actuators and nano-positioning devices help unlock the secrets of human hearing. From Design News, Oct. 2007 issue, p. 71.
More Info Confocal ratiometric imaging reveals reason for poor chromatography separations. A high resolution XY flexure nanopostitioning stage and a PIFOC® objective stepper are employed to ensure that the spatial resolution of the images was determined by optics and not by stage movement. Read full article in Biophotonics International, Oct. 2007 issue, p. 14, or request more information.
PDF In vitro models to study compressive strain-induced muscle cell damage Carlijn V.C. Bouten et al., Department of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Features a P-611 NanoCube® XYZ Piezo Nanopositioning System
HTML Design of an Optical Tweezers System for Various Single-Molecule Experiments Features a PI P-517.3cl XYZ Piezo Stage to mount the microscope sample and an E-710 digital piezo controller for advanced multi-axis nano motion control.
PDF Optical Traps, Optical Tweezer: New Era of Nanomanipulation Stage design, advanced speed- and resolution-enhancing technologies enable new applications for optical traps. From Biophotonics International, Feb. 2006 (740 KB PDF)
More Info Polarized Raman Confocal Microscopy Maps Nanowires A PI nanopositioning scanning stage was used to show that polarized Raman confocal microscopy can help to determine physical characteristics of GaN nanowires. Read full article in Photonics Spectra, Feb. 2006 issue, p. 125, or request more information.
PDF Nanopositioning Stage Pulls Piconewtons in Molecular Stretching Application The Fernandez Lab, at Columbia Universtity, NY, uses PicoCube® stages in single molecule research. From EuroPhotonics, Jan . 2005. (314 KB PDF)
PDF Control Technology Helps Reduce Errors in High-Speed Scanning Applications. Reprint from 2004 issue of Biophotonics International. (1.4 MB PDF)
PDF Development of an optical tweezer combined with micromanipulation for DNA and protein nanobioscience (260 KB PDF file). Features P-500 series XYZ PZT nanopositioning stages, and M-126 micropositioning stages.
PDF Adapting a Compact Confocal Microscope System to a Two-Photon Excitation Fluorescence Imaging Architecture (500 KB PDF file). Features P-721 PIFOC Objective Nano-Focus Devices
PDF Hexapod Advances Research in Biomechanical Dental Application
PDF A novel technique for characterizing elastic properties of thin biological membrane. Bing Feng Ju, Kuo-Kang Liu, Shih-Fu Ling and Woi Hong Ng, Center for Mechanics of Microsystems (CMMS), Singapore. Uses a precision linear actuator of the M-227 series.
Parallel Kinematics Positioning Systems (Hexapods, etc.)
PDF Precision 6-Axis Measuring System for Optical Surfaces
PDF Hexapod for Photothermics / Non-Destructive Testing
PDF Hexapod for Biomechanical Orthodontics Testing
PDF Hexapod in Fiber Collimator Alignment Application
PDF Hexapod Medical Robot for Spine Surgery
PDF Novel Ceramic Actuator for Hexapod Applications in Astronomy
HTML Low-Inertia Parallel-Kinematics Systems for Submicron Alignment and Handling (on (HTML file)
Nano-Metrology, Nano-Lithography, Nano-Indentation, Nano-Tribology, Semiconductors, Datatech
HTML Micro- and Nanopatterning of Inorganic and Polymeric Substrates by Indentation Lithography   A P-733 piezo stage was used in this application. The paper describes how "Patterns produced by IndL can be used as substrates for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and for other plasmonic applications."
PDF TMC’s STACIS active vibration isolation technology is the established solution for enabling next-generation, 22nm scale lithography.
Faster Autofocus with Laser and Piezo Scanner Engineers at Motion X and PI have developed a novel, laser-based system that combines Motion X's high-bandwidth autofocus sensor with PI's high-speed piezo driven PIFOC® objective and Z positioners.
HTML Pattern Generation by Using Multistep Room-Temperature Nanoimprint Lithography IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology, by Stefan Harrer, et al. Employs a PI multi-axis stage (for alignment) equipped with long-travel DC-Mike drives and nanometer resolution piezo actuators.
PDF NEXLINE® High Force, High Resolution, Long Travel Linear Actuators / Positioning Systems Featuring Picometer Resolution and Millimeters of Travel Novel, patented, ultra-precision linear drive combines long travel ranges (10's to 100's of mm) with fast response (100's of Hz), high force (to 600 N) and high resolution (<0.1 nm). Winner of SEMI Technology Innovation Showcase (TIS). (From SEMI Technology Innovation Showcase (TIS) 2005)
PDF IBM Interferometric Metrology Tool for Data Storage and Semiconductors employs custom PI long-range, multi-axis piezo nanopositioning stage. Paper courtesy Dr. G. Brasen and Dr. M. Löffler, IBM - E&TS - Mainz, Germany
PDF Interfacing Fast Nanopositioners to Track-Following Servos Leveraging the power of PI’s unique Fast/Precise Dual Interface for Head Test
PDF Repealing Moore’s Law: Trajectory-Control Advancements for Nanopositioning Subsystems (from Semicondutctor Fabtech, Issue 12, 2000)
PDF Advances in Sensors, Flexure Design and Digital Control significantly increase precision of PZT Nanopositioning Stages (500 KB PDF)
PDF New Technology Solves the Resolution/Speed Tradeoff
InputShaping eliminates the settling phase in data storage nanopositioning applications.
Article from Datatech, Issue 4, p. 155-159
HTML Analysis of Adhesion Forces Between Particles and Wall Based on the Vibration Method Konrad Hein et al. A P-244.10 piezo actuator and an E-470 high-power piezo amplifier are used to generate vibration and study nanoscale effects of adhesion and surface roughness.
HTML Platinum-coated probes sliding at up to 100 mm/s against coated silicon wafers for AFM probe-based recording technology. Bharat Bhushan et al. An M-663 miniature ultrasonic linear motor stage provides the high speeds required for these nanotribology tests.
HTML Sub-micrometre imaging of metal surface corrosion by scanning Kelvin nanoprobe. Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto. Using PI servo motor controller and stages and piezo actuators.
Astronomy and Aerospace Engineering
HTML PI DC-Mike Precision Linear actuators in: Optomechanical design of a high throughput, fiber spectrograph for the Gemini/Subaru Wide-Field, Fiber-Fed, Multi-Object Spectrograph (WFMOS)
PDF LISA Pathfinder Space Mission / NEXLINE® Piezo Linear Motor Actuator for Grabbing Positioning Release Mechanism
PDF Active Optical Alignment: Development of a Compact, High Load Piezo-Ceramic, Linear Motor Actuator with Sub-Nanometer Precision for Active Optical Alignment Applications.
PDF Control of a Particle-Laden Jet Using a PI High-Displacement
Piezo Actuator and High-Power Linear Amplifier
PDF Life Time Tests for PICMA® Piezo Actuators at extremely low temperatures, in vacuum.
Imaging, Photonics, Fiber Alignment
PDF Automated Fiber Alignment Engines. Recent advances in software and hardware of high-speed fiber aligners for automated packaging of complex fiber-optic devices and single mode fiber alignment.
PDF Imaging Resolution enhancement with pixel sub-stepping. Piezo Scanners improve resolution of sensor chips.
PDF High-Speed Photometer and Piezo Scanning Stages increase throughput in alignment, spectroscopy applications. Reprint from Photonics Spectra.
PDF Integrating Real-Time Optical Metrology with high-throughput piezo motions (PDF). This technote features the PI F-130 / F-131 hybrid alignment engine, the CyberAligner™ software and the ultra-compact Small Planet Photonics power meter.
PDF Microrobotic Packaging Automation of Collimated Photonic Devices
(6 DOF Hexapod Alignment System) (600 KB PDF)
PDF Microrobotics Speeds Waveguide Production, Improves Quality
(600 KB PDF)
PDF CyberAligner™ Modular OEM Alignment Workstation
A cost-effective solution for photonics production and testing. (500 KB PDF)
PDF Optical Metrology: Nanopositioning's Throughput Logjam
PDF High Speed Fiber Optic Alignment: Teaching Analog New Tricks
Piezo Motors (Ultrasonic / PiezoWalk®)
Auto-locking direct-drive ultrasonic piezo motor basis to nanometer scale stabilities. Read poster from ASPE conference: "Recent Advancements in Motion Control with Long-Term Nanoscale Stability, Including a Novel, Comparative Validation Technique"
HTML NANOPOSITIONING: Long-travel piezomotors ‘reboot’ the motion-control toolbox
PDF Piezo Motor in OCT Scanner.
PDF Nanometer Precise Hybrid Actuator in Positioning Mechanism with Long Travel Range. Nanotechnology requires extreme high resolution and accuracy and at the same time long travel range. Improvement in accuracy can be achieved with mechatronic design principals and integration of piezo technology in the system design
PDF New Linear Ultrasonic Micromotor for Precision Mechatronic Systems This paper presents a new design for a low-cost, miniature linear ultrasonic for precision positioning developed by Physik Instrumente (PI).
PDF Piezo-Based, Long-Travel Actuators For Special Environmental Conditions. New developments in the semiconductor industry and in the research areas of materials and life sciences are leading to greater and greater need for nanopositioning devices. Many applications like semiconductor testing require devices for UHV, helium atmospheres and with no magnetic materials.
PDF Poster: Nanometer Precise Hybrid Actuator in Positioning Mechanism with long Travel Range
PDF Poster: New Linear Ultrasonic Micromotor for Precision Mechatronic Systems
PDF Poster: Test Stand for Analyzing New Types of High-Performance Ultrasonic Piezomotor Drives
PDF Poster: Long-Life, Long-Travel Precision Piezo Actuators for Applications in Vacuum, High-Magnetic Fields, Radiation, Cryogenic Environments
PDF Power Point Presentation: New Linear Ultrasonic Micromotor for Precision Mechatronic Systems
PDF Survey of the Various Operating Principles of Ultrasonic Piezomotors Piezoelectric ultrasonic motors have been known for more than 30 years. In recent years especially, a large number of different designs have been developed, both for rotation and linear drives. Definition of piezoelectric ultrasonic motors and classification of their different operating principles.
PICMA® High Performance Long Life Piezoelectric Actuators
PDF White Paper: Reliability and Lifetime Tests of Multilayer Piezo Actuators
PDF Extreme Piezo Lifetime Test Report Dr. Bosotti, of the University of Milano, Italy, has devised a test setup to provide data equivalent to 10 years of continous operation in ILC cavities.
PDF Properties of PZT Multilayer Actuators This paper presents investigations of actuator characteristics and some life time tests.
HTML Piezoelectric multilayer actuator life test. NASA/JPL piezo tests for Space Mission. 100 Billion Cycles with PI PICMA actuators.
PDF A study on the Reliability of Piezoelectric Mulilayer Actuators
Precision Machining, Milling, Turning
PDF EDM Milling improved with PI P-845 High Load Piezo Actuator and Power Amplifier
HTML Dynamic variable depth of cut machining using piezoelectric actuator
HTML Submicron functional surfaces generated by diamond machining
PDF A Bi-Axial, Active Boring Tool for Chatter Mitigation
HTML Robot Machining with additional 3D Piezo-Actuation-Mechanism for Error Compensation

Back to Top

US Head Office

PI USA complies with the US laws
for export controlled technologies.

PI (Physik Instrumente) LP
16 Albert St.
Auburn, MA 01501
Phone 508-832-3456
Fax 508-832-0506
E-Mail Info Request

US West Coast Offices
San Francisco Area
1 Harbor Drive, Suite 108
Sausalito, CA 94965
Phone 408-533-0973
Fax 949-679-9292
E-Mail Info Request

Los Angeles Area
5420 Trabuco Road, Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92620-5743
Phone 949-679-9191
Fax 949-679-9292
E-Mail Info Request

Direct Offices


 Social Media

International HQ

Physik Instrumente (PI)
GmbH & Co. KG

Auf der Römerstrasse 1
76228 Karlsruhe/Palmbach, Germany
Phone +49 721 4846-0
E-Mail  info(at)

Ask a PI Engineer     PI - Moving the NanoWorld.   ISO 9001-2008 certified.
© 1996-2015 PI (Physik Instrumente) LP All rights reserved.  Specifications subject to change without notice.