News & Precision Motion Product Announcements: Archive 2006-2014

M-417 linear positioning stage offers high precision, 500 mm travel and 0.5 µm resolution

PI offers a new precision linear translation stage in the half-meter class. The M-417 positioner was designed for high duty cycles and velocity. Precision recirculating ball bearings provide guiding precision in the 100 µrad range over the complete travel range.

A low friction ball screw allows for maintenance free operation with velocities to 100 mm/second. The integrated efficient servo amplifier further reduces cost and simplifies installation and operation. For example, the M-417 can be driven by the popular and cost efficient C-863 Mercury compact motion controller.

This low-profile positioning stage is well suited for automation and precision assembly applications. 




New Miniature Linear Actuator for Opto-Mechanical Adjustment in Vacuum

Ultra-Compact Piezo Motor-Driven Screw-Type Actuator now Available for UHV

PI adds two vacuum compatible versions to its compact N-470 PiezoMike linear actuator product line. The N-470.V (HV) and N-470.U (UHV) actuators are based on a cost-effective inertia drive (Stick-Slip). When at rest, the drive is self-locking and therefore requires no electric power and also generates no heat. It holds the position with a maximum force of 100 N.

Ideal for Alignment of Mechanical and Optical Components 

For stable alignment of optical paths it is critical to provide excellent long-term positioning stability. The PiezoMike design provides this stability for long periods with reliable start-up even after longer downtimes. High holding force and resolution are achieved by combining piezo actuators with a mechanical rotation / thread translation. Vacuum-compatible to 10-9 hPa.

More information on the



Several OEM and bench top controllers for up to 4 channels are available. Versions with USB interface include host software and LabVIEW drivers.

New Hexapod 6-Axis Positioners: Low Cost, High Speed & High Load Versions

Compact High Load Hexapod for loads to 500 kg.

A new High Load Hexapod is now available for loads to 500 kg (1000+ pounds). The H-850KMLD provides 1 µm minimum incremental motion over a 100 mm travel range in XY and of 0.5 µm over a 50 mm travel range in the Z direction. The linear repeatability is ±1 µm.

The maximum tilt and rotation angle is ±30°. An absolute encoder option is now also available. The encoder detects the actual position of the axes after power up rendering reference moves a thing of the past. This is useful in confined spaces, or when the reference position cannot be reached due to obstacles in the path.

The H-850KMLD can be mounted in any orientation: for horizontal operation it can handle loads up to ½ metric ton. 
A high performance controller and software are included (see bottom of page).

More information on the H-850KMLD high load hexapod
For even higher loads in the 1000 kg range, the H-845 high load hexapod is available.

Low Cost Hexapod 
The PI H-820 hexapod was developed for applications that require multi-axis motion and high flexibility but do not need sub-micron precision. This new model caters to these needs with linear travel to 100 mm, rotary travel to 60°, load capacity of 20 kg.

High velocity and long service-life is guaranteed by direct drive brushless servo motors. Position repeatability is in the low micron range.

A controller and software are included as with all PI hexapods (see bottom of page).

More information on the H-820 Low Cost hexapod.

High Speed Hexapod
The new H-811.S11 high-speed version of the popular H-811 compact hexapod provides dynamic performance with bandwidth up to 25 Hz. An integrated wave generator facilitates high-speed motion and jitter simulation applications such as employed in image stabilization testing

More information on the H-811.S11 high speed hexapod.


Controller & Software Included
All PI hexapods are extremely easy to use and integrate. They come with the dedicated C-887 hexapod motion controller and an extensive software package. Motion is commanded in directly in Cartesian coordinates. The selection of an arbitrary, pivot point is via one software command (important for alignment applications). In addition, the digital controller supports a LabVIEW-based software environment. The integration in text-based programming languages under Microsoft Windows or Linux is simplified by program libraries and exemplary codes.

Simulation tools and virtual hexapod software is also included. They can be made available in advance. This way, the virtual Hexapod can be tested and integrated in the customer before delivery to save valuable time.

More information on the C-887 Controller for Hexapod Positioning Systems.

Fast Piezo Focusing Systems for Microscopy now Digital and more Affordable

  • Complete System with Fast Digital Controller & Software
  • Choice of Travel Ranges: 100 µm, 250µm, 400 µm
  • Ideal for Fast Autofocus Applications
  • Sub-nm Resolution
  • Choice of Position Feedback Sensors: Piezoresistive (lower cost); Capacitive (higher precision)
  • Improved Performance, yet More Affordable

PI introduces a new, more affordable series of Fast Piezo Focusing devices at the 2011 SPIE BIOS (Biomedical Optics) meeting in San Francisco, CA.

The new PIFOC® system packages are designed to improve results in fast focussing & lens positioning as well in deconvolution / 3D imaging, and reduce costs at the same time.

Application Examples: Fast Autofocus Systems, Microscopy, 3D Imaging, Screening, Surface analysis, Wafer inspection

The PIFOC® piezo objective scanner system packages consist of closed-loop piezomechanic objective positioners and custom-tuned compact ditigal servo controller / driver units. This combination provides higher performance at reduced costs. The integrated, frictionless and high-stiffness piezo flexure drive ensures fast response and short settling times, as well as exceptional guiding accuracy. The settling time of less than 10 ms increases throughput and allows for rapid Z-stack acquisition.

Digital Controller: more Flexibility, Precision, Automation Functions 
The digital controller provides several advantages compared to the conventional analog controllers of the fast focussing systems currently available: higher linearity, improved settling performance, quick adaptation to changing motion requirements and access to advanced automation features

Software, Support, Compatibility with Leading Image Acquisition Programs 
The included software facilitates system setup and allows switching of different sets of parameters on-the-fly. For the user this means exctracting the maximum performance from the piezo focusing mechanism all the time, no matter what size objective is used or whether aggressive long-travel stepping or smooth nanometer size dithering motion is needed. Since jumpers and trim pots no longer have to acessed to make changes, system integration becomes much more straightforward.

System setup with the included user-interface software is fast and easy; interfacing to the customers' software is facilitated with the included LabVIEW drivers and DLLs. Drivers for leading image acquisition software packages such as MetaMorph and µManager are available.

Datasheets & Additional Information

M-272: Fast Linear Actuator for Automation

Piezo motor specialist PI introduces the new M-272 linear actuator for automation applications based on a maintenance-free PILine® ultrasonic ceramic motor.

PILine® piezo ceramic ultrasonic drives offer an affordable alternative to electromagnetic linear motors and motor-leadscrew combinations when small dimensions and/or high speed are important. With velocities of up to 200 mm/s, these drives are fast, compact, and are readily integrated. In addition, PIline® motors are self-locking at rest with zero heat generation, eliminating the need for an additional motor brake.

The novel M-272 closed-loop linear shaft motor drive combines motor, actuator, linear encoder, guiding system and brake functionality in a very compact package. Due to the integrated guiding system a payload can be easily attached to the drive rod of the M-272 drive and positioned precisely.

Features & Advantages

  • Maintenance Free Ceramic Linear Motor
  • Travel range 50 mm
  • 5 µm Resolution with Integrated Linear encoder
  • Fast: 200 mm/sec (8"/sec)
  • High Speed and Dynamics for fast Settling
  • Self-Locking at Rest, no need for External Brakes, no Energy Consumption.
  • OEM Driver Electronics for Ultrasonic Motors Available

Patented Technology: Self-locking Instead of Quiescent Current
PILine® piezo motors are based on a new, patented, ultrasonic drive principle developed by PI. The core piece of the system is a piezoceramic plate, excited with high-frequency eigenmode oscillations. A friction tip attached to the plate moves along an inclined linear path at the eigenmode frequency. Through its contact with the ceramic friction bar (runner), the moving part of the mechanical system is pushed along. With each oscillatory cycle, the mechanical system executes a minute step of only a few nanometers; the macroscopic result is smooth motion with a virtually unlimited travel range. The piezo ceramic plate is preloaded against the runner and thus generates the holding force when the drive is at rest. The technology is in part protected by the following patents: US Pat. No. 6,765,335, German Patent No. 10154526

Controller for Faster Settling with Dynamic Control Parameter Adaption The linear actuator can be driven with the C-867.OE OEM controller card. Its highly specialized DSP handles all of the motion properties typical for ultrasonic piezomotors, such as dynamic control parameter adaption. Optimized settling behavior of the mechanics within 10s of milliseconds is achieved by automatically switching between gainsets for dynamic and static operation.

Datasheets & Additional Information

N-725 Optical Axis Positioning System Offers 5X more Travel Range

Focusing and high precision positioning of microscope objectives along the optical axis has just made big step forward: While piezo actuation has always been the undisputed choice in optical positioning when dynamics and accuracy matter most, some applications would have benefitted from more travel range. A new design principle developed by PI now extends the positioning range to 2 mm while maintaining very short settling times on the order of 20 milliseconds.

Patented PiezoWalk® Motor 
Based on a patented piezo stepping drive, the N-725 provides travel ranges of up to 2 mm along the optical axis to quickly and precisely change the focal plane. Despite its small size, the new device replaces and combines the performance of two individual stages: a fine focus piezo drive and a stepper motor positioner for coarse, long travel motion. The challenge was to implement the high-stiffness piezo motor in a compact mechanical housing no larger than previous piezo-flexure-actuator based PIFOC® objective stages providing travel ranges from 0.1 to 0.4 mm. The new long-travel piezo motor provides 5 to 20 times the travel range, sub-nanometer resolution and locks into a position, without further need for power, significantly improving long term stability.

High resolution microscopy methods, such as two-photon microscopy, make it possible to record 3D stacks with mm depth in biological samples. Here conventional piezo techniques have posed a limitation. The new PI N-725 piezo-motor objective positioner and scanner breaks with conventional wisdom and helps exploit the new possibilities.

Controller and Software
The piezo-z-focus drive comes complete with a powerful motion controller and software. It is compatible with leading microscope imaging suite software packages.

Features and Benefits

  • Long-Travel (2 mm) ideal deep penetration depth / 2-Photon microscopy
  • Complete system with digital controller, software and QuickLock insert for Objective
  • 2 mm travel range
  • 20 ms settle time


Datasheets & Additional Information

M-660: Low Profile Rotation Stage now with Higher Resolution

One of the lowest profile rotary tables on the market, the M-660 is now complemented by a higher performing model providing more than the 8 times the position resolution of the existing version.

Background Article (PDF): Piezo Rotary Motor for Optical Instrumentation

Self-Clamping Ceramic Motor, Direct Drive, Direct Encoder
The M-660 stage can accelerate to velocities of 720 degrees/sec. and resolves positions down to 4 µrad (8 arcsec). Its self-clamping ceramic drive provides very high stability, with no energy consumption at rest and no heat generation. A directly coupled precision optical encoder provides phase lag-free, backlash-free feedback to the servo controller.

Applications, Features & Advantages

  • Applications: Semiconductor/ Test Equipment, Metrology, Optical Instrumentation
  • Very Low Profile - Easy Integration: Only 15 mm (0.6”)
  • 4 µrad Resolution
  • Direct Metrology Linear Encoder
  • Max. Velocity 720 °/s, Unlimited Travel Range
  • Self-Locking Ceramic Direct Drive: Energy Saving & High Position Stability
  • PILine® Drive: Non-Magnetic, Vacuum-Compatible Working Principle
  • Compact Combinations with Linear Stages Available

Ceramic Drive used in the latest Generation Optical Instruments
The compact design with minimized mass and inertia provides high precision bidirectional speed and position control, as well as high speed motion contouring. The M-660 is based on the new U-164 Piezo Motor and outperforms the stability, acceleration and settling speed of traditional servo motor direct drives and gear-driven mechanisms. The innovative motor drive was also chosen by Leica Geosystems AG’s in their newest generation of surveying instruments for geodesy, because it can provide significantly higher speeds, shorter positioning times and a very high positioning accuracy when moving the measuring optics.

Controller / Software Support
A newly designed piezo motor controller is available to take advantage of the specific motion characteristics of ultrasonic ceramic motors. USB interfacing and a solid software and driver package for seamless integration are included.

Datasheets & Additional Information

>> M-660 Specifications 
>> Piezo Rotary Motor for Optical Instrumentation

E-709: Low Cost, High Performance Digital Piezo Controller

For OEM and research applications, E-709 provides digital nanopositioning controller functionality at the price-point of an analog controller… in the volume of a paperback book! It does so without compromise:

  • Its 5th order polynomial digital linearization ensures accuracy.
  • Two notch filters facilitate crisp, high-gain actuation.
  • A fast servo update rate ensures responsiveness.
  • DAC-in-the-loop architecture guarantees positional stability.
  • It offers a host of fast interfaces including USB, RS-232, Real Time Analog and TTL interfaces.
  • Easy-to-use setup software requires no physical access to the unit. No trimpots!
  • Extensive, well-documented, interface-independent software support includes Windows .dll, Linux .so, and LabVIEW .llbs
  • Broad, robust waveform generation, data-recording and triggering capabilities come standard.

The E-709 opens up the possibilities of digital control for piezo-driven nanopositioning systems for the same price as analog controllers. It was designed for piezo actuators and nanopositioning stages which are equipped with cost effective measuring systems such as strain gauges or piezoresistive sensors. The advantage: higher precision, more control options and very simple operation. In addition, PI provides the full functionality of its comprehensive software packages free of charge! The E-709 can also be used for applications providing analog control signals. In addition to 2 digital interfaces, a standard broadband analog input is installed as well.

True Digital or analog? 
Note: Many "digital" nanopositioning controllers are actually analog controllers with an RS-232, USB or other communications interface grafted on. The servo technology in these controllers remains analog, with its inherent limits in accuracy, stability and functionality. A true digital controller puts the DAC inside the servo loop.

Specs and additional Information

PI acquires majority stake in precision positioning specialist miCos GmbH

Customer-oriented system solutions to the power of two Today we are pleased to announce that PI has recently become the majority owner of miCos GmbH in Eschbach, Germany. This allows PI to supplement its extensive nanopositioning and micropositioning portfolio with the products and know-how of a leader in the field of vacuum precision positioning applications and system integration.

PI's product range of fast, high-precision positioning system solutions, is particularly expanded in the area of stepper motors and electro-magnetic linear motors. In addition, high-load rotation stages and long-travel linear stages (up to 1000 mm) are now available.

In the future, miCos GmbH will go by the name of PI-miCos as a subsidiary of PI GmbH & Co. KG. Lucius Amelung will remain managing director.

Advantages for Customers Around the World 
The merger offers a number of advantages to customers of both companies. Similar corporate philosophies come together: customer proximity and customer orientation have always played a very important role for both companies. Now, the product range and development expertise are expanded, and the density of the sales & service network is further increased.

In addition, we expect even greater manufacturing flexibility in the future, since miCos GmbH has access to extensive precision machining equipment and has acquired substantial experience with precision manufacturing technologies.

PI and miCos - two economically strong and firsthand owner-managed companies with similar corporate philosophies have commenced a partnership that will lead to new technological milestones in precision motion control products.

You can look forward to new technological possibilities!

    Precision Motorized Microscope Stage is driven by High-Stability Piezo Linear Motors

    The new M-687 XY motorized microscope stage family for inverted microscopes is more compact than traditional stepper-motor / servo-motor driven open frame XY stages due to its fully integrated, compact piezo linear motors.

    Self-Locking Ultrasonic Motors, Direct Linear Drive, Direct Metrology Linear Encoders
    The self-locking ceramic on ceramic direct-drive motors in the M-687 XY positioner also provide up to 10X higher positional stability for the following reasons: No holding current is required (no heat dissipation); no leadscrews that heat up due to friction during motion and cause drift cooling down once the motion stops; no lubricant flow in the drive screw causing slow creep. This is why the stage design is superior for long term imaging applications. Linear encoders with 100 nanometer resolution provide direct position measurement with high accuracy. The compact design with minimized mass and inertia provides highly accurate bidirectional speed and position control, as well as very constant velocity, even at very low speeds. The drive system is based on PI's U-164 ultrasonic piezo motor and outperforms the stability, acceleration and settling speed of traditional servo motor direct drives and gear-driven mechanisms. More information on piezo motors is available here.

    Applications, Features & Advantages

    • Fits Olympus IX2 and Nikon Eclipse Ti inverted microscopes
    • High Stability: ideal for Long-Term Microscopy, Imgaging, Image Stitching
    • Fast: to 120 mm/second
    • Linear Encoders with 100 nanometer resolution
    • 135x85 mm Positioning range
    • For inverted microscopes, free rotation of turret
    • Available Piezo-Z Scanner
    • Very constant velocity at 10 µm/second
    • Direct-metrology linear encoder
    • Accessories: Slides holders, petri dish holder, multi-well plate holders


    Controller / Software Support
    The microscope stage is delivered with a joystick and a proprietary piezo motor controller optimized to take advantage of the specific motion characteristics of ultrasonic ceramic motors. USB interfacing and a solid software and driver package for seamless integration are part of the package.

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    6-Axis Motion Controllers for Hexapod Precision Positioners

    Two new 6-axis motion controllers are now available for PI's new H-series hexapod precision positioner family The new C-887.21 compact controller is a space-saving bench-top unit that also reduces the system cost. It provides the same performance as the larger, C-887.11 controller. This 19" rack-mount unit adds two additional channels for the control of two more motion axes (such as linear positioners, rotation stages) and can also be upgraded with a number of options such as manual control and photometer cards.

    Real-time vector motion control system 
    Both units are real-time motion controllers providing vectorized motion output and position command input based on Cartesian coordinates. A random, virtual pivot point can be defined freely anywhere in the working space. In addition the controllers provide data recorder functionality for recording operating parameters such as motor control, velocity, position or position error.

    Other Features 

    • Macro command language
    • Stand-alone operation possible with autostart
    • Connection of keyboard and monitor.
    • Manual control option
    • Custom controllers for high altitude applications (astronomical telescopes)
    • Absolute encoder input
    • Motor brake control
    • Redundant position sensors processing for increased safety (e.g. in medical technology)


    Extensive software support 

    • PIMikroMove user software.
    • PI GCS common command set for all PI positioning systems.
    • Shared libraries for Windows and Linux.
    • Complete set of LabVIEW VI's.
    • Graphical user interfaces, configuration software and graphically displayed scan routine.
    • Optional: PIVeriMove software for checking a restricted operating space

    Hexapod Applications 
    Hexapod applications are found in all technology fields: 

    • Synchrotrons, High Energy Physics: High precision positioning of synchrotron optics
    • Medical engineering (computer aided surgery, tumor radiation treatment)
    • Telecommunication (alignment of fibers and fiber-optic chips)
    • Laser machining;
    • Semiconductor test & metrology (positioning / alignment substrates, lasers);
    • Astronomy: Mirror alignment in large earthbound telescopes);
    • Microscopy, X-ray microscopy and crystallography, etc.
    • Material Testing

    Hexapod Controller Datasheets & Additional Information


    PI & PI miCos Precision Positioning Equipment on Mars Rover Curiosity

    Two instruments in the Mars rover's science lab rely on the quality and precision of Physik Instrumente multilayer piezo actuators and motorized positioners from PI miCos. During the planning stages of the Mars mission, when PI and miCos still operated separately, NASA’s decision to have equipment from both companies work together millions of miles away from home, anticipated their close down-to-earth collaboration of the near future.

    Endless qualification and lifetime tests (100 Billion cycles in the case of the piezo actuators) had to be passed, before the equipment was sent off into space. Failure was not an option. However, cost these days is more of an issue with budgets tighter than in the early days of space exploration. Manufacturers with the best commercial off-the-shelf products (COTS), modern quality control systems and the ability to make the necessary modifications for the tough space requirements are high on the list when it comes to providing the ingredients for a 21st century space mission.

    PICMAA® Piezo Stacks for the CheMin Instrument 
    CheMin is an X-ray diffraction and fluorescence capable mineralogy instrument that can help to determine if water was present in the formation of rocks and soil on Mars. More information on the CheMin instrument.

    A sample handling system is required to feed mineral powder samples through a funnel into the individual sample cells. The powder in the tunable sample cells must be shaken at variable amplitudes and frequencies in the range of 0.9 to 2.2 kHz to homogenize particle size or density segregations. This is where PI Ceramic's piezo actuator expertise comes into play. PICMA® multilayer piezo actuators were installed to precisely control the vibrations in the feeder.

    These extremely robust and ceramic-insulated piezo stacks emerged after rigorous tests by NASA's JPL as the highest quality piezo actuators available. Multiple samples passed 100,000,000,000 cycles of life testing with no failures, retaining greater than 96% of their initial performance at the end of the test.

    MT-40 Space Precision Autofocus Positioner from PI miCos for the ChemCam 
    The ChemCam (Chemistry and Camera)instrument preselects through laser-based testing which rocks in the vicinity of the rover need to be closer examined with instruments such as the ChemIn. 
    ChemCam consists of a laser induced breakdown spectrometer and a high resolution imaging camera. A highly precise autofocusing mechanism operated by a PI miCos precision motorized stepper stage is part of the instrument. The high-power laser beam evaporates the rock and the light emitted from the plasma is analyzed with the spectrometer.

    A specially modified and space qualified MT-40 linear positioning stage from PI miCos focuses the analyzing system at the desired distance by translating the secondary mirror of the telescope. Due to violent shocks and vibration during launch and landing, every component in the stage from the stepper motor to the crossed roller bearings and limit switches had to be closely examined and optimized to eliminate the possibility of failure or performance loss. For fast and precise focusing, high resolution and linearity are essential and backlash has to be controlled tightly -- not an easy task given the very wide operating temperature range of the instrument. Modeling and thermal compensation were used as well as special vacuum compatible lubricants for all moving parts. In the end the modified stage passed all the tests and the decision to go with a COTS part for cost control reasons proved right.

    Earthly Connection 
    Shortly before Curiosity left Earth in November 2011, miCos joined the PI family of companies. Together they are now ready to take on any precision positioning challenge, in air, under high vacuum conditions on Earth and in locations as remote as Mars.

    Additional Information


    PI and PI miCos equipment on Curiosity (NASA)



    Linux, Windows, Operating system support for PI motion controller


    PI offers some components for Linux, Windows and 64-bit platforms for a large variety of motor controllers and piezo nanopositioning controllers. More info.


    Zero-Wear Piezo Flexure Actuators Replace Classical Actuators in Optics, Biotech and Medical Positioning Applications

    • Flexure Guidance for Frictionless, Ultra-Straight Motion
    • Low Cost, Custom Designs
    • Travel Ranges to 0.5 mm standard, to >1 mm feasible
    • Resolution to 0.2 nm
    • High Dynamics and Stiffness
    • Sub-Millisecond Response Feasible
    • PICMA® Long Life Piezo Actuators
    • Open and Closed-Loop Versions

    PiezoMove® vs. Conventional Lever Amplified Actuators Download Low-Cost Piezo Flexure Actuator Brochure PI's new flexure-guided piezo actuators provide much larger travel than standard, direct drive piezo actuators in a low profile package, with virtually unlimited resolution and lifetime. What sets PiezoMove® actuators apart are the internal frictionless flexure-guides, making additional bearings or guiding mechanisms obsolete when integrating the actuators into a positioning system.

    Closed-Loop Option Offers Very High Precision 
    PiezoMove® actuators are available with integrated, absolute-measuring position sensors for closed-loop operation with high linearity and nanometer range repeatability.

    Very Fast Response: Millisecond Settling Times 
    The stiff design with high resonant frequencies allows settling times donw to the sub-millisecond range, ideal for highly dynamic applications.

    Typical Applications 
    Biotechnolgy, Medical Instrumentetion, Fast Switches & Pumps, Nanopositioning, Semiconductor Testing, Adaptronics, Photonics / Integrated Optics.


    M-674 RodDrive: Integrated High-Speed Piezo Motor Actuator

    • Drive-Component for Integration into Automation & Positioning Systems
    • Flexible Choice of Travel Ranges to Several 100 mm
    • Flexible Choice of Push/Pull Forces to Several 10 N
    • Minimum Incremental Motion to 0.05 µm
    • Velocity to 400 mm/s
    • Self-Locking w/o Head Build Up

    M-674 PILine® RodDrive piezo motor linear actuators represent a new level of integration between PILine® OEM piezo linear motors such as P-661 and guided micropositioning systems such as the M-663 linear stage series.


    RodDrive piezo actuators replace classical motors in biotech applications such as syringe plunger drives, drives for HTS, etc as well as in non-magnetic applications such as MRI, SEM, or E-beam lithography.

    RodDrives provide significantly faster response and higher speed than classical drive elements like rotary motor/leadscrew assemblies. Unlike classical electric linear motors, they are nonmagnetic and self locking at rest with no energy consumption and heat build up. M-674 actuators consist of a rod which is preloaded by ultrasoinic linear piezo motor from two sides. Depending on the way of integration, either the rod or the motor block is coupled to the moving platform. The basic features PILine® piezo linear motors offer compared to classical drives are

    • Non-magnetic, vacuum-compatible
    • Compact size
    • High velocity
    • Self-locking at rest, with no heat dissipation

    Standard RodDrives are non-guided actuators and come without position encoders. Guiding and position feedback can be provided by the linear slide the RodDrive is attached to. Custom Systems for OEMs are available.

    Flexibility and OEM Adaption 
    The maximum travel range of a RodDrive is limited by the length of the rod itself. The pushing/pulling force of the M-674 is 7 N. For OEM applications different piezomotors can be used, to achieve higher forces or reduce the size of the package.

    Typical Applications 
    Medical design automation, system integration for micropositioning tasks, Automation, Handling, Micromanipulation, Biotechnology, Metrology


    M-850K102 Ultra-High Load Hexapod

    PI has designed a unique Hexapod (Stewart Platform) high-load 6-axis positioner for astronomy applications and other alignment tasks. The M-850K102 custom Hexapod combines extremely high precision with a load capacity of up to 1000 kg. It provides minimum incremental motion to 0.8 µm and 1 µrad, respectively. The six individual actuators have a design resolution of 0.08 µm and a stiffness of 40 N/µm.


    • Six Degrees of Freedom
    • Works in Any Orientation
    • No Moving Cables for Improved Reliability and Precision
    • 1000 kg Load Capacity (Vertical)
    • Heavy-Duty, Ultra-High-Resolution Bearings for 24/7 Applications
    • Repeatability to 0.5 µm
    • Actuator Resolution 0.008 µm
    • Significantly Smaller and Stiffer Package than Conventional Multi-Axis Positioners
    • Vacuum-Compatible Versions
    • Linear and Rotary Multi-Axis Scans
    • Virtualized Center of Rotation (Pivot Point)
    • Sophisticated Controller Using Vector Algorithms


    Hexapod Working Principle and Advantages The M-850 Stewart Platform Hexapod is driven by six high-resolution actuators all connected directly to the same moving platform. The principle is similar to that seen in flight simulators, but considerably more precise. In place of the hydraulic actuators used there, the M-850 uses custom high-load precision screws and servo-motors. It can withstand loads of 1000 kg vertically, and at least 180 kg in any direction.

    Technical Specifications:


    Number of Axes:6
    Linear travel range XYZ:24 mm
    Rotation range:8 deg. (rot z) 6 deg. (rot x, y)
    Actuator design resolution:< 0.08 µm
    Minimum incremental motion XYZ:0.8 µm
    Minimum incremental motion Rot xyz:1 µrad
    Repeatability X, Y:1 µm
    Repeatability Z:0.5 µm
    Max Linear Velocity XYZ:0.5 mm/s
    Max Rotary Velocity:6 mrad/s
    Actuator Stiffness:40 N / µm
    Load capacity:up to 1000 kg (depends on orientation)
    Weight:450 kg

    Typical Applications 
    Alignment and tracking of optics, electron beams; fine positioning of active secondary mirror platforms in astronomical telescopes




    C-702 Hybrid Nanopositioning Controller

    • Two channels
    • 10kHz Sampling Rate
    • 24-Bit Piezo Motion Resolution (<1 picometer)
    • High-Resolution Incremental Sensor with Serial Interface
    • Real-Time Operating System
    • Interfaces: VGA, Keyboard, Mouse, RS-232, TCP/IP Ethernet

    One Controller for One Motion System 
    In PI hybrid systems, such as the motor-leadscrew and piezo actuator are fully integrated to form one motion system. The motor and piezo act together at all times.

    The result is far more than a coarse-adjust/fine-adjust system: effects like startup stick/slip and backlash can be completely compensated and a motion profile with high constancy of velocity can be followed. Because of the high piezo stiffness, setting to a few nanometers only takes a few milliseconds, significantly faster than with conventional, higher-inertia, linear-motor-driven stages. Furthermore minimal increments in the range of the sensor resolution can be reliably executed.

    To allow high velocities beyond 100 mm/sec and nanometer-range incremental resolution, position information must be transmitted and processed very rapidly and a complex control algorithm is required. PI’s C-702 is a controller providing PWM signal generators, piezo amplifiers and control algorithms specially tailored for hybrid systems.

    Advantages of the New Hybrid Drives

    • Active Compensation of Stick/Slip During Startup and Settling
    • Active Backlash Compensation
    • Excellent Velocity Control
    • Millisecond Settling to Nanometer Accuracy
    • Reliable Execution of Minimal Increments
    • High Drive and Holding Forces with Minimal Power

    C-702 Controller—Key to Hybrid Technology
    The optimized interaction between the piezoelectric and motorized drive components to make them a single motion unit requires a high-speed sensor as well as powerful control algorithms. The digital, 2-channel, C-702 controller, based on modern CPU technology with a real time operating system, has been designed for this task. It is able to read the position signals with virtually no delay and process the data immediately. The integrated piezo amplifiers use a high-resolution 24-bit DAC to fully support the high position resolution of the piezo actuators. The new ultra-fast broadband SSI interface for the optical linear encoder supports stage velocities of 600 mm/s at a resolution of 1 nm. With custom firmware, one of the sensor interfaces can be reprogrammed for use as a high-speed command interface capable of processing commands at the servo rate.

    Absolute Accuracy 
    The servo-control loops for both the motorized and the piezo drive use the same position sensor. The result is a motion system with hundreds of millimeters travel but with the precision of a piezo-based nanopositioner. The resolution and the positioning accuracy depend on the choice of the feedback sensor. PI hybrid systems currently use optical linear encoders with a resolution of 2 nm. Depending on the stage, a minimum incremental motion or a repeatability of 4 nm can be achieved over the entire travel range.

    Typical Applications 
    Surface Inspection, Microscopy, Laser Technology, Interferometry Metrology


    M-714 Hybrid Piezo/DC-Motor Nanopositioning Z-Stage Features 2 Nanometer Linear Encoder

    Overview Z-Stages

    Features & Advantages of Hybrid Stages

    • Hybrid Sytem Combines Advantages of Piezoelectrics and Electromagnetic Drives
    • 2 Nanometer Linear Encoder Resolution
    • High Holding Forces with Minimum Power Consumption, without Counterbalancing the Load
    • Active Compensation of Stick/Slip During Startup and Settling
    • Active Backlash Compensation
    • Excellent Velocity Control
    • Millisecond Settling to Nanometer Accuracy
    • Reliable Execution of Minimal Increments

    M-714 Heavy-Duty Nanopositioning Z-Stage
    The M-714 Z-stage was designed from the ground up to use the hybrid drive technology. A high gear reduction ratio enables the M-714 to position loads up to 10 kg with nanometer precision, even in the vertical direction. Compared to high-resolution magnetic linear drives, the hybrid principle allows high holding forces with minimum power consumption, without counterbalancing the load. The angular deviation is less than ±10 µrad over the entire travel range of 7 mm. The high-performance drive components, including ballscrew, bearings, motor and gearhead are chosen for minimum mechanical play and friction.

    Absolute Accuracy 
    The servo-control loops for both the motorized and the piezo drive use the same position sensor. The result is a motion system with hundreds of millimeters travel but with the precision of a piezo-based nanopositioner. The resolution and the positioning accuracy depend on the choice of the feedback sensor. PI hybrid systems currently use optical linear encoders with a resolution of 2 nm. Depending on the stage, a minimum incremental motion or a repeatability of 4 nm can be achieved over the entire travel range.

    Typical Applications 
    Surface Inspection, Microscopy, Laser Technology, Interferometry Metrology


    Datasheets and Brochures


    Overview Z-Stages


    M-714 Nanopositioning Stage


    Hybrid Stage (DC Servo/PZT) principle. The PZT actively compensates for stick/slip effects and backlash.

    M-511.HD Hybrid Piezo/DC-Motor Nanopositioning Translation Stage a World First

    • Hybrid Sytem Combines Advantages of Piezoelectrics and Electromagnetic Drives
    • 2 Nanometer Linear Encoder Resolution
    • 100 mm Travel
    • Velocities to 125 mm/sec
    • Active Compensation of Stick/Slip During Startup and Settling
    • Active Backlash Compensation
    • Excellent Velocity Control
    • Millisecond Settling to Nanometer Accuracy
    • Reliable Execution of Minimal Increments
    • High Drive and Holding Forces with Minimal Power

    M-511.HD Long-Travel, High-Speed Nanopositioning Systems
    The M-511.HD is based on the proven design of the M-5x1 precision micropositioning stage series, with an integrated, flexure-guided, piezo actuator added. The M-511.HD allows velocities to 125 mm/s with an encoder resolution of 2 nm and load capacity of 50 kg for horizontal operation.

    Absolute Accuracy 
    The servo-control loops for both the motorized and the piezo drive use the same position sensor. The result is a motion system with hundreds of millimeters travel but with the precision of a piezo-based nanopositioner. The resolution and the positioning accuracy depend on the choice of the feedback sensor. PI hybrid systems currently use optical linear encoders with a resolution of 2 and 4 nm. Depending on the stage, a minimum incremental motion or a repeatability of 4 nm can be achieved over the entire travel range.

    Typical Applications 
    Surface Inspection, Microscopy, Laser Technology, Interferometry Metrology


    D-510 Single-Probe Capacitive Position Gauge for Nanometrology Applications.

    D-510 series PISeca capacitive displacement sensors perform non-contact measurements of geometric quantities representing separation, position, length or other linear dimension against electrically conductive references such as metallic planes.

    Due to a proprietary electrode design and linearization system in the signal conditioning electronics, these single-probe sensors combine superior resolution and linearity with very high bandwidth for dynamic measurements.

    Standard systems come with measuring ranges from 20 to 500 µm. Capacitive position gauges such as PISeca are fundamentally very temperature stable and easy to work with.



    C-663 Mercury Step Compact Networkable Stepper Motor Controller

    • High Performance at Low Cost
    • Stand-Alone Functionality
    • Network Capability for Multi-Axis Applications
    • Compatible and Networkable with C-862 Mercury™ DC-Motor Controllers
    • Joystick Port for Manual Control
    • Non-Volatile Macro Memory
    • Parameters Changeable On-the-Fly

    The C-663 Mercury Step is a cost-effective and flexible motion controller for applications where a precision positioner is to be controlled by a PC or PLC (programmable logic controller). The C-663 supplements the successful C-862 Mercury servo motor controller.




    E-536 / P-363—New Ultra-High Resolution Positioning and Scanning System for Nanoscopic Imaging

    The new ultra-low noise E-536 driver / controller, together with the P-363 PicoCube®, provide significantly higher resolution and positional stability than previous multi-axis scanning systems.

    The E-536 can be controlled with analog or digital signals and comes with extensive sofware support. In addition, for several D/A boards from National Instruments PI offers a corresponding LabVIEW™ driver set which is compatible with the PI General Command Set (GCS), the command set used by all PI controllers. A further option includes the patented Hyperbit™ technology providing enhanced system resolution.

    PicoCube® systems were designed to overcome the limitations of open-loop piezo-tube based scanners in nanoscopic imaging. Piezo-tubes provide high resolution motion but poor linearity and trajectory guidance. The compact PicoCube® is based on exceptionally robust, high-stiffness piezo drives rather than tubes and employs non-contact, direct-measuring, parallel-metrology capacitive sensors for position feedback. The low-inertia drives allow for a resonant frequency of 10 kHz, important for high speed scanning applications.

    A major advantage of the single-module parallel-kinematics design is that there are no moving cables and no cable management issues to be resolved when integrating the unit. This design increases reliability, enhances responsiveness and also increases repeatability and accuracy at the nanometer level, because the friction and force exerted by a moving cable are eliminated.

    E-536/P-363 System Features

    • High-Speed XYZ Scanner for AFM / SPM & Manipulation Tool for Nanotechnology
    • Custom, High-Stiffness Shear Piezo Drives Provide up to 10 kHz Resonant Frequency for Faster Response and Higher Scanning Performance
    • Ultra-Low-Noise Controller Enables 25 Picometers (0.025 nm) Resolution
    • Capacitive Feedback for Exceptional Precision and Linearity
    • Parallel Metrology for Better Multi-Axis Accuracy
    • Small & Rugged Design with Titanium Case
    • Vacuum Compatible Stages Available

    PI Precision Motion Control Software Brochure Available for Download

    • Software Independent of Controller and Mechanics
    • One Command Set for All Systems: Maximum System Compatibility
    • Optimizing System Performance Using Digital Piezo Motion Controllers with PI Software
    • Simple Operation of Positioning Systems
    • Quick Integration in LabVIEW
    • Flexible Integration in Text-Based Programming Languages
    • Support of Motion Controller-Specific Features Resources Presentation

    E-481 High Voltage Amplfier provides 2000 W Power for Piezo Actuators

    • Very efficient through energy recovery design
    • 2000 W dynamic power
    • Multiple output ranges: 0 to 1100V, -260 to +780V, -550 to +550V, +260 to -780V, 0 to -1100V, Unipolar and bipolar operation
    • Differential operation of 2 piezoelectric actuators possible
    • 5 kHz Bandwidth
    • Computer interface and servo module upgrades


    The new E-481 High-Voltage Piezo Power Amplifier (replacement for the E-480) is one of the most powerful and energy efficient amplifiers currently available for PZT positioning control. Driving the PICA series high-force piezo actuators it can provide forces in the 10 kN range to move very heavy objects fast and with nanometer precision.

    The amplifier's bipolar driver circuit provides 2000 W of dynamic power and an output voltage range of up to 1100 V or +/-550 V. With source / sink currents to 2000 mA and a bandwidth of 5 kHz, the E-481 can achieve very high slew rates, even with large capacitive piezoelectric loads

    Applications Include: 
    Active vibration damping and cancellation, cavity tuning, diamond turning, precision machining, non-circular turning of optics, smart structures (adaptronics), high-load precision positioning, laser tuning, high-speed switching.

    Differential Drive Mode Provides more Flexibility 
    The amplifier can be operated in both inverting and noninverting mode, with a DC gain of +/-100. The differential design allows two piezo actuators to be driven in push/pull mode, a plus in dynamic positioning applications where a maximum of force and stroke are required.

    Innovative Energy Recovery Provides higher Efficiency 
    The E-481 was specifically developed for reactive (capacitive) loads presented by large piezoelectric stacks. It is based on a novel design employing energy-recovery technology. Instead of dissipating the reactive power in the heat sinks, it is recovered so that only the active power used by the piezo actuators has to be supplied. During discharge of the actuators, the energy not used is returned and reused to supply the amplifier.

    Upgrades: Computer Interface, Closed-Loop Position Control: 
    The E-481 high-voltage amplifier can be upgraded with a computer interface and a variety of servo modules for closed-loop piezo operation.




    XY Microscope Stage with High Stability Piezo-Motor and with Linear Encoders

    M-686 XY microscope stages for microscopy stages are mainly designed for automated positioning applications . The form factor of the M-686 is optimized for a low profile height of 27 mm, footprint and mounting pattern fit directly together with many PI standard nanopositioning systems.

    • Very high Stability
    • Integrated Closed-Loop PILine® Ultrasonic Piezomotor Drives Provide High Speed to 100 mm/s
    • Integrated Linear Encoders with 0.1 µm Resolution
    • 25 x 25 mm Travel Ranges
    • Low Profile
    • Large Clear Aperture
    • Self-Locking at Rest
    • Compatible with PI Piezo Nanopositioning / Scanning Stages

    Space Saving Piezomotors
    Compared to conventional motorized translation stages, the M-686 provides a lower profile and smaller footprint. The compact PILine® piezoelectric linear motors and high-resolution linear encoders make both, the lead screw duct and the flanged, bulky stepper motor employed in traditional stages obsolete. In addition, the piezomotors are self-locking at rest and hold the stage in a stable position without heating up.

    New PI Newsletter #35 Available as PDF Download

    The new PI newsletter is available as a PDF download. 


    • Small but Power-Packed - NEXACT® Actuator
    • PISeca™ Capacitive Sensors
    • E-755 NEXLINE® Controller
    • Mercury™ Stepper Controller
    • M-686 Large Aperture XY Stage, 25 X 25 mm
    • High-Dynamics Nanopositioning Stage for Microscopy
    • OEM Piezo Systems
    • PIHera® 1800µ Stages
    • Hexapod Applications
    • New HVPZT Piezo Actuators with PICA-Power™
    • PowerDuraAct Patch Transducer
    • LabVIEW® Drivers

    M-122 Miniature Linear Translation Stage Features Optical Linear Encoder and Direct Drive

    The M-122 palm-top-sized precision translation stage combines small dimensions, high speeds and very high accuracy at a competitive price. It features a space-saving, folded drive train with the servo motor and drive screw side-by-side. Equipped with a non-contacting optical linear encoder and a preloaded, precision-ground, ball-screw, these stages can provide much higher accuracy and better repeatability than conventional stepper motor stages or rotary encoder-equipped servo motor stages.


    • Precise: 0.1 µm Resolution Optical Linear Encoder for Highest Accuracy & Repeatability
    • High Load & Excellent Guiding Accuracy: Cross-Roll Bearings
    • Travel Range 25 mm
    • Fast: Max. Velocity 20 mm/s
    • Long Life & Low Maintenance: Recirculating Ball Screw Drives Provide High Speeds & Long Lifetimes

    Very Compact XY and XYZ Combinations
    M-122 stages can be combined to very compact XY and XYZ systems. The M-122.AP1 mounting bracket is available to mount the Z-axis.

    Low Friction, High Speed, Maintenance-Free
    Due to its low-friction, the backlash-free ball screw yields significantly higher mechanical efficiency than leadscrews, and allows maintenance-free, high duty-cycle operation at high velocities up to 20 mm/sec.


    Photonics packaging, Fiber positioning, Metrology, Quality assurance testing, Testing equipment, Micromachining

    NEXACT®: Novel Compact OEM Piezo Stepping Motor / Actuator with Long Travel Range

    • New Patented PiezoWalk® Principle (not a Stick/Slip or Ultrasonic Motor)
    • To 10 N Push/Pull Force
    • Resolution to Picometer Range
    • Very Stiff Design, Fast Response & High Bandwidth
    • Dither & Step Mode
    • 20 mm Standard Travel Range
    • Compact (25x25x12 mm) and Cost-Effective
    • Low Voltage (40 V)
    • Self Locking, with no Heat Dissipation, Nanometer Stability
    • Non-Magnetic and Vacuum-Compatible Working Principle

    The novel N-310 NEXACT® PiezoWalk® Linear Motor Actuators are ultra-compact precision drives featuring travel ranges of 20 mm and push/pull forces to 10 N. With their high resolution, NEXACT® piezo stepper linear motors are ideal for high-precision positioning over long travel ranges. The N-310 can be operated in open-loop and closed-loop mode (with the addition of an external position sensor). A variety of NEXACT® controllers facilitates the integration into micro- or nanopositioning applications.

    Advantages of PiezoWalk® Piezo Stepping Drives 
    NEXLINE® and NEXACT® offer several advantages over traditional drive technologies:

    • Resolution in the picometer range
    • Compact dimensions
    • High drive forces from ten newtons (NEXACT®) up to several hundred newtons (NEXLINE®)
    • High dynamic performance with sub-microsecond response
    • Self-locking when powered down; no holding current
    • Zero backlash, no wear or maintenance, no mechanical components like gears or leadscrews.
    • Non-Magnetic and Vacuum-Compatible Operating Principle

    Closed-Loop Piezo Motor Controller for Linear Stages / Actuators with PILine® Drives

    • Closed-Loop Control for Piezo Linear Motors and Linear Stages
    • High-Speed Encoder Input
    • Dynamic PID Parameter Switching
    • Integrated Piezomotor Driver
    • Extensive Software Support

    The C-866 motion controller was specially designed for high-speed closed-loop positioning systems with PILine® ultrasonic piezo linear drives. This compact unit contains not only servo-control and communications circuitry, but also the drive electronics. 


    M-682 Compact Closed-Loop Translation Stage with High-Force Piezomotor Drive

    • 50 mm Travel (~2 inch)
    • Low Profile, Compact Dimensions
    • Max. Velocity 350 mm/s
    • Up to 7 N Push / Pull Force
    • Direct Metrology Linear Encoder, 0.1 µm Resolution
    • Non-Magnetic and Vacuum-Compatible Versions Available
    • Integrated PILine® RodDrive

    M-682 translation stages are low-profile, high-accuracy positioning systems based on an ultrasonic linear motor actuator. The M-682 positioner combines the advantages of its high-performance, high-speed drive with a high-precision guiding system and the superior accuracy of a direct-metrology linear encoder providing 0.1 µm resolution. In addition to the standard, 50 mm model, custom M-682 versions with different travel ranges as well as vacuum-compatible and non-magnetic designs are feasible and available on request.


    M-664 Low-Profile High-Speed Linear Stage with Linear Encoder 
    Extends Family of PILine® Stages

    • Ultra-Low Profile, 15 mm
    • Travel Range 25 mm (1 inch)
    • Max. Velocity 400 mm/s
    • High Accuracy Direct Metrology Linear Encoder with 0.1 µm Resolution
    • High Guiding Accuracy with Crossed Roller Bearings
    • Compact XY Combinations
    • Self Locking at Rest

    The new M-664 low-profile micropositioner extends PI's family of linear-piezo-motor-driven precision linear stages. For improved guiding accuracy, the M-664 uses two crossed roller bearings mounted on ground aluminum profiles. The integrated P-664 PILine® linear piezo motor can generate push/pull forces up to 6 N (1.3 pounds) and maximum closed-loop velocities to 400 mm/s over the 25 mm travel range.

    An even smaller version as the M-664 stage is available as the M-663.


    P-876 DuraAct Piezo Composite Patch Transducers

    • Extremely Flexible and Highly Formable Piezocomposite Transducer
    • Actuator, Sensor or Energy Source
    • Can be Applied to Curved Surfaces
    • Cost-Effective, Standard & Customized Solutions
    • Noise cancellation
    • Vibration cancellation
    • Adaptive surface control, structural deformation and stabilization
    • Energy harvesting
    • High-dynamics positioning and precision motion control
    • Structural health monitoring

    P-876 DuraAct patch transducers are piezocomposite transducers for adaptronics and commercial applications such as aerospace, smart structures, automotive, and machinery. The can also be used for energy harvesting and for structural health monitoring.

    DuraAct patch transducers offer the functionality of piezoceramic materials as sensors and actuators as well as for electrical charge generation and storage. Used as bender actuators, they allow high deflection of up to 0.8 mm with high force and high precision. Other possible operation modes of DuraAct transducers are as high-dynamics sensors.

    These patch transducers are ideally suited for active and adaptive systems. Embedded in a servo-control loop, vibrations of parts can be reduced and contours can be controlled in the nanometer range. A special Piezo Linear Amplifier is also offered. The E-413.D2 is a stand-alone, amplifier board and provides precision control for bipolar piezo shear and bender actuators both in static and dynamic operation.

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    P-737 PIFOC® Piezostage: Fast Piezo-Z Stage for Microscope Automation, 3D-Imaging

    PI -- the inventor of high-speed Piezo-Z objective steppers--introduces the new P-737 PIFOC® PiezoStage for high performance Z-focusing applications.

    Features & Advantages

    • High-Speed Piezo Z-Motion with Travel Ranges to 250 µm
    • Large Clear Aperture to Accommodate Specimen Holders
    • Perfect Mechanical Fit to XY OEM Manual or Motorized Stages
    • Choice of Controllers: Digital, Analog w/ Display or Compact Controller
    • Custom Tuning for Highest Speed
    • Nanometer Resolution: Ideal for Super Resolution Microscopy
    • Compatible w/ all Major Image Acquisition Packages
    • Closed-Loop for Nanometer Precise Motion Control

    Download the Microscope Stage catalog.Browse Microscope stage selection guide.

    The P-737 specimen Z-stage is a new member in a large family of products for microscope automation. Specifically designed for research microscopes utilizing deconvolution and 3D imaging techniques, the P-737 PIFOC®specimen piezo Z-stage features up to 250 µm travel, millisecond responsiveness and nanometer precise motion under closed-loop control.

    High resolution 3D-Microscopy / Z-stack Image Acquisition: How it Works
    The PIFOC® units are ideal for high speed Z-stack image acquisition, the basis for the generation of 3-D views of samples in high-resolution, optical microscopes. Conventional Z-drives use a motorized actuator and motor controller to create numerous focus planes during focusing. The individual “slices” are then processed with special software to form one 3-D image. PIFOC® systems are compatible with all major image acquisition packages.

    Faster and Higher Resolution with Piezo
    Piezo-actuated Z-drives, can achieve significantly higher focusing speed (typically 5 to 10 msec vs. 100 to 500 msec) and resolution (typically 1 nm vs. 0.1 µm) than stepper motor-drives and thus provide higher-quality images in less time.

    Piezo Z-Stages and Objective Steppers
    The P-737 PIFOC® piezo-stage is an addition to the extremely successful PIFOC® brand of high-speed Piezo objective Z-steppers. While no sample stage can beat the speed of the fastest PIFOC® objective positioners (due to the stiffer, more compact design), the P-737 PIFOC® stage allows for convenient Z-stack imaging with multiple objectives and very high throughput.

    Piezo Z-Stages vs. Conventional Stepper Focus Drives
    The fast response of the P-737 piezostage fully utilizes the high throughput of the latest digital imaging systems and achieves 20 to 50 times faster response than conventional stepper motor focus drives.

    The P-737 PIFOC® stage is available with a number of analog and highly sophisticated digital piezostage controllers and can be controlled through digital interfaces as well as by fast analog signals through a high-speed 0-10V input. The system is fully compatible with all leading imaging acquisition packages. For ease of integration, a comprehensive set of LabView drivers is included, even with the analog control option.

    Application Examples
    3D imaging, cell biology, Z-stack acquisition, autofocusing, scanning and alignment tasks in microscopy, biotechnology.

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    E-413 Compact Piezo Amplifier for DuraAct™ Patch Transducers and PICA™ Shear Piezo Actuators

    • Peak Power to 50 W
    • OEM Module / Bench-Top for PICA™ Shear Actuators
    • OEM Module for DuraAct™ Piezoelectric Patch Transducers

    The E-413 is a stand-alone, amplifier for bipolar PZTs. Three versions are available: the E-413.00 (bench-top), the E-413.OE OEM version and the E-413.D2 for DuraAct™ patch transducers. The first two can output and sink peak currents of 100 mA in a voltage range of -250 to +250 V, corresponding to the standard range of PI PICA™ Shear piezo actuators.

    The E-413.D2 is designed for driving P-876 DuraAct™ flexible piezoelectric transducers; it offers a peak output power of 50 W with an operating voltage of -100 to +400 V.

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    New High-Performance Piezo Actuators and High-Voltage Amplifiers

    Successful high-force piezo actuator series updated with Power PZT ceramics; new line of high-voltage drivers also available 

    PI is the leading manufacturer of piezo actuators and offers the largest product variety in terms of load capacity, travel range, temperature range and dynamics. While most medium and low force actuator applications are covered by patented PICMA® multilayer technology, the classical technology enables applications where extremely high forces are required or high levels of customization are needed.

    Lower Power Consumption, Forces to 30,000 N, Amplifier Power from 1 to 2000 W 
    Four newly developed, preloaded HVPZT actuator series (P-212, P-216, P-225 and P-235) are now equipped with the advanced PIC 255 PICA Power piezoceramic stacks. They feature load capacities from 2,000 N to 30,000 N, travel ranges from 15 µm up to 180 µm and standardized dimensions. The integrated preload makes these actuators ideal for dynamic applications (e.g. precision machining, active vibration damping, etc.) and push-pull applications. In contrast to HVPZT actuators of older design, they have positive polarity and a different connector. The low-capacitance, piezo ceramics require less electric power – a special advantage for high dynamics applications. Five RoHS compliant high-voltage amplifiers ranging from 1 to 2000 watts of power are available to drive the new HVPZT actuators. All models E-462, E-464, E-508, E-421 / E-470 / E-471 / E-472, E-481 are delivered preset to provide positive output voltages and otherwise improved in many details compared to their predecessors.

    Datasheets & Additional Information




    Latest PI Newsletter #36 Available as PDF Download

    • Digital Nanoworlds / New E-753 Digital Piezo Controller
    • Mini Hexapod: Six Degrees of Freedom in a Small Package
    • P-737 Piezo-Z Microscopy Specimen Scanning Stage
    • Low-Profile XY ?Z Stage for LCD and Semiconductor Inspection
    • Tip/Tilt Mirror Platforms S-330
    • Active Vibration Absorbers to Reduce Wind Turbine Noise Emissions
    • Autotuning Operation under the Best of Conditions
    • New 3-Channel Electronics Module
    • Low Profile Piezo Linear Motors
    • Miniature Servo Motor Linear Stage
    • PI – IMS Certified
    • Tradeshows


    Datasheets & Additional Information

    PIHera® P-629 Flexure-Guided Precision Nanopositioning Stages Now With Travel Ranges to 1.8 mm

    PI has extended its PIHera® family of compact flexure-guided piezo stage nanopostioning systems, now offering record travel ranges to 1.8 mm.

    X, XY, Z and XYZ Versions
    PIHera® piezo stages come in X, XY, Z and XYZ versions featuring travel ranges from 50 to 1800 µm in X and XY und up to 400 µm in Z.

    Nanometer Precision for QA & Metrology Applications
    These precision closed-loop flexure-guided piezo stages can be used for scanning probe applications (surface metrology) and static positioning. Most PIHera® stages provide sub-nanometer resolution and even the 1.8 mm versions better than 3 nm resolution. The compact size is achieved with a new, friction-free and extremely stiff flexure system, which also provides fast response and excellent guiding accuracy; trajectory precision is in the low-nanometer range. High acceleration forces are provided by patented, long-life multilayer piezoelectric linear actuators. The ability to control motion with millisecond responsiveness and nanometer precision over long travel ranges makes PIHera® stages ideal for measuring and QA applications.

    Capacitive Feedback Offers Greater Motion Linearity
    The piezo stages are equipped with non-contact capacitive-sensors and provide motion linearity to 0.02% with effective resolution in the sub-nanometer range. PI Capacitive Feedback are absolute-measuring, direct-metrology devices that boast very high bandwidth and exhibit no periodic errors. They are significantly less sensitive to influences by external noise and provide much better long term stability than strain gauge sensors.

    Typical Applications
    Surface Metrology. Scanning Probe Microscopy, Nanometrology, Biotechnology, Interferometry, Nanopositioning, Quality Assurance, Semiconductor Technology

    Features & Advantages

    • No Wear & Tear: Flexures, Actuators and Sensors are Maintenance-Free
    • Longer Lifetime with Patented, Ceramic-Encapsulated Piezo Actuators
    • X, XY, Z and XYZ Versions Available
    • 50 to 1800 Travel Ranges
    • Closed-Loop Control for Up to 99.98 % Absolute Accuracy
    • Vacuum-Compatible Versions
    • Stiff and Compact Design for Millisecond Responsiveness
    • Sub-Nanometer Resolution
    • Frictionless, Maintenance-Free Precision Flexure Guiding System
    • Capacitive Direct-Metrology Sensors for Faster Servo Response

    Flexible Controllers: High Speed, Digital and Analog Control
    A variety of ultra-low-noise controllers with both digital and analog input provide fast communications and come with a wide selection of software tools. 
    Examples: Digital: E-753. OEM-Cards: Controller OverviewModels: Vacuum versions to 10-9 hP are available as part numbers P-62x.xUD


    P-620.1CD / P-620.1CL PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo Stage, 50 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-621.1CD / P-621.1CL PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo Stage, 100 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-622.1CD / P-622.1CL PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo Stage, 250 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-625.1CD / P-625.1CL PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo Stage, 500 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-628.1CD / P-628.1CL PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo Stage, 800 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-629.1CD / P-629.1CL PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo Stage, 1500 µm, Capacitive Feedback

    P-620.10 L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo Stage, 60 µm
    P-621.10L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo Stage, 120 µm
    P-622.10L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo Stage, 300 µm
    P-625.10L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo Stage, 600 µm
    P-628.10L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo Stage, 950 µm
    P-629.10L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo Stage, 1800 µm

    XY Stages

    P-620.2CD PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo XY-Stage, 50 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-621.2CD PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo XY-Stage, 100 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-622.2CD PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo XY-Stage, 250 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-625.2CD PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo XY-Stage, 500 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-628.2CD PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo XY-Stage, 800 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-629.2CD PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo XY-Stage, 1500 µm, Capacitive Feedback

    Open Loop:
    P-620.20L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo XY-Stage, 60 µm
    P-621.20L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo XY-Stage, 120 µm
    P-622.20L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo XY-Stage, 300 µm
    P-625.20L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo XY-Stage, 600 µm
    P-628.20L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo XY-Stage, 1000 µm
    P-629.20L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Nanopositioning Piezo XY-Stage, 1800 µm


    P-620.ZCD PIHera® Flexure-Guided Piezo-Z Nanopositioning Stage, 50 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-620.ZCL PIHera® Flexure-Guided Piezo-Z Nanopositioning Stage, 50 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-621.ZCD PIHera® Flexure-Guided Piezo-Z Nanopositioning Stage, 100 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-621.ZCL PIHera® Flexure-Guided Piezo-Z Nanopositioning Stage, 100 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-622.ZCD PIHera® Flexure-Guided Piezo-Z Nanopositioning Stage, 250 µm, Capacitive Feedback
    P-622.ZCL PIHera® Flexure-Guided Piezo-Z Nanopositioning Stage, 250 µm, Capacitive Feedback

    P-620.Z0L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Piezo-Z Nanopositioning Stage, 65 µm
    P-621.Z0L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Piezo-Z Nanopositioning Stage, 140 µm
    P-622.Z0L PIHera® Flexure-Guided Piezo-Z Nanopositioning Stage, 400 µm

    XYZ Models 
    can be built by combining an XY stage with a Z stage.

    E-753 - Next Generation Digital Piezo Controller for Nanopositioning Applications

    Piezo controllers are more complex than ordinary motor controllers and require both higher-performance processors and extremely fast and stable A/D and D/A converters. Low-cost components which perform well in audio applications, are often unacceptable for the requirements placed on high-end nanopositioning systems. For this reason, many piezo controllers are still offered with analog servo circuits.

    10 Years Ahead
    PI has recognized the importance of digital piezo control technology more than 10 years ago. Since then, it has become an essential ingredient for the highest precision class of our nanopositioning systems.

    PI is now introducing the next generation of digital controllers: The new E-753 provides a wider range of functionality and, with 24-bit digital/analog converters, offers even higher resolution than the proven E-750 digital controller it replaces.

    Digital controllers make possible the implementation of performance-enhancing algorithms involving digital processing of sensor input, position target and drive control values, for example:

    • Motion linearization based on higher-order polynomials, making possible improved positioning accuracy of up to 0.001% of the full travel range.
    • Dynamic Digital Linearization (DDL),which can improve the tracking accuracy by a factor of up to 1000during rapid, periodic motion.
    • Saving of motion profiles and access to standard functions such as sine or triangle waves.
    • Freely programmable data recording(offers access to position data, sensor signals, etc), important for later association of events with the saved data e.g. for mapping functions.

    Simple programming, digital and analog control. Last but not least, all parameters can be checked and edited via software. System setup and configuration is done with the included Nano-Capture™ and PIMikroMove® user-interface software. Interfacing to custom software is facilitated with included LabView™ drivers and DLLs. PI's unique General Command Set allows easy software porting between different controllers. In addition to its digital inputs, the E-753 features a a broadband analog input, a major advantage for applications with fast, analog control signals.

    E-753.1CD Technical Data Summary

    • Single-channel piezo controller for capacitive sensor metrology
    • Output voltage -35 to +135 V
    • Max. peak output power 7.5 W
    • 24-bit D/A converter, 25 kHz sampling rate, 32-bit floating-point DSP
    • Analog input, 2 digital inputs and 1 digital output
    • Ethernet and RS-232 interfaces. Technical Data Summary broadband analog input, a major advantage for applications with fast, analog control signals.

    First of many 
    The single-channel E-753 is the first of a new generation of digital piezo-controllers of which several are coming soon.

    Datasheets & Additional Information 

    E-712 - Modular Digital Piezo Stage Controller System, 3 & 6 Axis

    • High-Speed Processor; up to 50 kHz Sensor Update Rate; Highly Stable 20-bit D/A Converters
    • Real-Time Operating System for Excellent Trajectory Control
    • Modular Design for Greatest Flexibility in Meeting Custom Requirements
    • Auto-Calibrating from Stage ID-Chip for Interchangeability of Controller and Mechanics w/o Recalibration
    • Flexible Interfacing: USB, RS-232 & Ethernet
    • Optional High-Bandwidth Analog Inputs and Outputs

    The new, E-712 multi-axis piezo stage controller picks up where the successful E-710 controller left off. It features a faster processor, a real time operating system and significantly higher servo update and sensor sampling rates to provide extremely precise coordinated motion in up to 6 degrees of freedom with nanometer precision.

    Additional advantages:

    • Available high-power amplifier modules, to supplement the integrated amplifiers for high-frequency scanning / tracking applications
    • Software tunable proportional-integral digital servo with 2 notch filters allow operation of the piezomechanics closer to its resonant frequency.
    • Optional Digital Dynamic Linearization, ensures that tracking errors are reduced to the nanometer level even in high-dynamics scanning applications .
    • Remote control through the internet possible via TCP/IP interface
    • 20-bit D/A converters make possible sub-nanometer position resolution, even over long travel ranges of >1000 µm, like those of the new P-629 PIHera® piezo stages. and the P-587 800µm 6-axis stage
    • Internal coordinate transformation for parallel-kinematics systems, user friendly position commands in Cartesian coordinates

    Datasheets & Additional Information 

    PI News: E-861 Controller for NEXACT® Piezo Linear Motors

    The new E-861 controller was designed for the simple setup and automation of piezo stepping linear motors. The E-861's core is based on the third generation Mercury™ controller series which stands out for its high performance, simple operation and low price.

    Running piezo stepping drives is more complex than driving classical DC motors. The stepping motions of the multiple piezo actuators integrated in the NEXACT® modules are coordinated by a DSP (digital signal processor) and, using a special algorithm, output through a sophisticated amplifier front-end.

    The E-861 provides open and closed-loop modes. For closed-loop operation, a high-resolution linear encoder input is provided, backed up by the required DSP processing power. For open-loop-operation, step size, count and frequency can be set by software. Velocity of 10 mm/s and more with nanometer resolution are obtained.

    Multi-Axis Operation
    Up to 16 E-861 controllers can be networked and controlled over a single PC interface. Such daisy chain networks are flexible, can be extended at any time and are compatible with other PI controllers (e.g. DC servo-motor and stepper motor controllers).

    NEXACT® Stepping Drive Technology (PiezoWalk®) 
    The patented NEXACT® PiezoWalk® stepping drives are distinguished by high speed, long travel ranges, and high force generation of more than 10 N combined with compact size. These stepping drives feature a highly stable autolock mode with a holding force actually higher than the drive force. This means that once a target position is reached, the servo-loop is quiescent, eliminating holding currents and servo dither which could contribute to heat generation and drift. Additional features include:

    • Position Resolution in the Sub-Nanometer Range
    • Analog mode provides up to 7 µm of smooth, high-dynamics motion at any position , e.g. for fast scanning or active vibration compensation.

    The E-861 NEXACT® controller incorporates the same core as the Mercury™ series (C-863 and C-663 Servo and Stepper Controllers) as the C-867 PILine®ultrasonic piezomotor controller. All Mercury™ based-controllers can be networked and controlled with the same command structure.

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    E-861 Specifications 
    N-310 Specifications 

    Latest PI Newsletter #37 Available as PDF Download

    • Piezo Motors for OCT Scanner
    • NEXACT® Controller
    • P-726 - High-Power Objective Nanopositioner
    • Mercury™ DC Motor Controller
    • High-Load Hexapod
    • E-712 - New Multi-Axis Piezo Controller
    • Increased Presence in Local Markets
    • P-653 - Tiny Ultrasonic Linear Motor Drive
    • Tradeshows



    P-653 PILine® Miniature Piezo Linear Motor / Slide for High Volume Applications

    • True Linear Motor Slide / No Rotary Conversion Losses
    • Extremely Fast: Velocity up to 200 mm/s
    • Travel Range 2 mm,
    • Cost-Effective OEM Drive for High Quantity-Applications
    • Preassembled and Mounted on a PCB Board
    • Very Compact: Piezomotor Drive is Only 8 mm Long
    • Fast Response: Full Stroke in <50 ms
    • Force Generation to 0.15 N
    • Self Locking at Rest
    • Both Miniature Linear Actuator & Miniature Translation Stage (self guided slide)

    P-653 PILine® OEM piezo-motor slides are ideal for OEM applications where space is at a premium. These tiny linear positioners can be used to replace classical drive elements like miniaturized motor/spindle systems or other linear motors, which P-653 outclasses with its speed of up to 200 mm/s. PILine®piezo motor linear slide stages offer a number of advantages over classical motor drives:

    • Higher velocities
    • Smaller design
    • High push/pull and holding forces relative to the drive size

    Integration of the P-653 motorized piezostage in an application is simple because the moving slider and the piezo actuator are delivered assembled as a unit mounted on a PCB board, incorporating the low voltage drive electronics.


    Due to their sterile, non-magnetic, ceramic nature, piezo motor miniature linear actuators work well in medical design applications. 
    >> Ultrasonic Motor Overview 
    >> Linear Actuator Catalog

    E-835 DuraAct™ Piezo Driver Module: Bipolar Operation for Piezoelectric Patch Transducers

    The cost-effective E-835 OEM piezo driver module is designed for driving the highly flexible P-876 DuraAct™ piezoelectric patch transducers. It provides a peak output power of 30 W with a peak current of 120 mA in a voltage range of -100 V to +250 V. It can also be used to drive PicaShear™ Piezo Shear Actuators.

    This compact piezo amplifier module supplies adequate power for a broad range of DuraAct™ patch transducer applications, e.g. active vibration damping, structure monitoring and stabilization.

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    M-810 Miniature Hexapod 6-Axis Precision Positioning System Provides High Forces

    Six Axis Positioner in a Small PackageWith two decades of Hexapod (Stewart Platform) design and manufacturing experience, PI electro-mechanical Hexapods and Piezo Hexapods are the most advanced multiaxis precision positioning systems in the world, providing significantly higher accuracy and resolution than hydraulically driven systems. The new M-810 miniature Hexapod combines all the advantages of PI’s other proven parallel-kinematic systems in the smallest of packages.

    With a diameter of only 10 cm and a height of 11.8 cm, the M-810 offers travel ranges of up to 40 mm in the XY plane and 13 mm in the Z-direction. Despite of its small size, the hexapod can reliably position loads of up to 5 kg at velocities up to 10 mm/s.

    High Performance: Long Travel Ranges in Six Axes with Excellent Position Resolution 
    The limited space necessitated the usage of new technologies for encoders, motors and limit switches. Nevertheless, control is 100% comparable to previous standard PI Hexapods. The system comes with a mature and robust controller and software.

    As with other parallel-kinematics positioners from PI, the six high-resolution actuators are connected directly to a single moving platform. The user can define the center of rotation (pivot point) independent of platform motion with a simple software command. In contrast to conventional, stacked, multi-axis systems, there is no accumulation of guiding and lever-arm errors.

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    E-617 OEM Module: High-Power Piezo Driver / Voltage Amplifier with Energy Recovery for High-Dynamics 24/7 Operation

    • Very Low Power Consumption due to Energy Recovery Principle
    • Extremely High Power Compared to the Compact Design: to 280 Watts
    • High Source & Sink Currents to 2 Amps
    • Output voltage -30 to +135 Volts
    • OEM Module and Top-Hat-Rail Versions
    • Amplifier bandwidth, small signal 3.5 kHz
    • Short-circuit-proof
    • Two Versions: Open Card & Enclosed for Top-hat-Rail Mounting in Switching Cabinets

    Energy Recovery Operating Principle
    The E-617 piezo driver modules provide significantly higher power than conventinal piezo amplifiers of similar size. The working principle of the E-617 series is ideally suited for high-dynamics scanning and switching applications.

    The innovative, efficient circuitry reduces power consumption and heat dissipation, especially in dynamic applications. Charge is transferred to the piezo actuator using low-loss PWM techniques. When the actuator is discharged, the energy not consumed is fed through the energy recovery circuitry for reuse in the next charging cycle.

    PI has introduced piezo amplifiers with energy recovery several years ago. An even more powerful high voltage amplifier (2000 Watts of peak power) is available as model number E-481.

    High Performance with High Capacitive Loads 
    The E-617 amplifiers provide precision control of piezo actuators and positioning systems in open-loop operation with an analog control voltage amplified by the factor 12. Such analog operation is ideal for applications where fast response and very high resolution with maximum bandwidth are essential, but where commanding and reading the target position absolutely is either not important or carried out by external position sensors.

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    Latest PI Newsletter #38 Available as PDF Download

    N-380, N-381 NEXACT® Linear Actuator, Nano-Manipulator, Piezo Stepper Drive

    • Replaces Classical Lead Screw Actuators
    • Travel Range 30 mm
    • Zero-Wear Piezo Stepping Drive Principle, Ideal for Micro- and Nano-Manipulation
    • Optional Linear Encoder for Highest Repeatability & Accuracy
    • Very High Acceleration, e.g. for Cell Penetration
    • Two Operating Modes: Continuous Stepping Mode and Continuously Variable, High-Dynamics Analog Mode for up to 30 Picometer Resolution
    • Up to 10 N Force Generation
    • Self Locking at Rest, no Heat Generation,
    • No Closed-Loop Servo Jitter
    • Vacuum-Compatible and Non-Magnetic Versions

    The compact N-380/N-381 piezo walk linear actuators have a number of advantages over classical lead-screw actuators. The novel drive principle allows long travel ranges and rapid accelerations, for high-dynamics / high-throughput applications.

    An “analog mode” can be used for fast oscillations with amplitudes of several microns and frequencies to several 100 Hz. Open-loop and closed-loop models are available: the N-381 model is equipped with a high-resolution position sensor, allowing sub-micron repeatability. The N-380 open-loop version is intended for high precision applications where the absolute position is not important or is controlled by an external loop (video, laser, etc.).

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    2009 PI Catalog Available as PDF Download

    The NEW "Piezo Nano Positioning Inspirations 2009" catalog from PI is available now. It features more than 200 product families and a very broad range of precision motion control products such as:

    • Precision Linear Actuators (Ceramic, & Classical)
    • Compact scanning stages for imaging applications
    • Fast Steering Mirrors
    • Piezo-driven, low-profile nanopositioning stages for scanning microscopy
    • General-purpose, multi-axis nanopositioning systems
    • Capacitive Nanometrology Sensors
    • Digital & Analog Nanopositioning Controllers
    • Long-travel piezo flexure nano-stages (to 1800 µm)
    • Vacuum-compatible Hexapod 6-axis alignment systems
    • Ultrasonic linearmotor-driven stages and piezo motors
    • Servo, Stepper & Piezomotor controllers

    Download Catalog Sections in PDF Format

    For Motion Control, Sensing, Energy Harvesting

    Piezoelectric & Motorized Drive Solutions; Actuators for Automation and High-Precision Motion Control 

    1- to 6-Axis Standard, OEM and Custom Designs, Nanometer Precision, Travel Range to 1800 µm

    Piezo Steering Mirrors, Tip/Tilt Platforms 

    Single and Multi-Axis, Digital, Analog, PCI Card, Bench-Top & Modular Controllers / Drivers 

    Tutorial on Piezotechnology in Nanopositioning Applications 

    Single and Dual Probe Capacitive Nanometrology Position Sensors

    Precision Linear / Rotary / Multi-Axis Positioning Systems

    Microrobotic Systems for Ultra-Precsion Motion Control

    Motion Control Solutions for DC Motors, Stepping Motors & Piezo Motors


    MATLAB Support for PI Motion Controllers

    PI is a Product Partner of The MathWorks Connections Program

    Product- independent communication interface makes integration of PI controllers into customers’ MATLAB applications easy

    PI has become a member of The MathWorks Connections Program. This partnership is based on the PI GCS DLL interface, that offers an easy way to communicate to all kinds of PI controllers from within MATLAB, the widely used flagship product of The MathWorks.

    The MathWorks Connections Program is available to third-party organizations that develop and distribute complementary, commercially available products and services based on the MATLAB technical computing environment. The MathWorks Connections Program partners help MATLAB users by providing industry or application-specific technology to fill their need for a complete solution. Partner products offer solutions that are seamlessly integrated with MathWorks products and ensure ongoing compatibility in conjunction with new MATLAB releases.

    With the new interface libraries, customers can easily control the various micro- and nanopositioning products by PI, import sampled data into the MATLAB workspace and use it in their own MATLAB applications.

    About The MathWorks

    The MathWorks is the world’s leading developer of technical computing and Model-Based design software for engineers and scientists in industry, government, and education. With an extensive product set based on MATLAB and Simulink, The MathWorks provides software and services to solve challenging problems and accelerate innovation in automotive, aerospace, communications, financial services, biotechnology, electronics, instrumentation, process, and other industries.

    The MathWorks was founded in 1984 and employs more than 2,000 people worldwide, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts.


    MATLAB Support for PI Controllers 


    Controller NameMotor TypeShipped with DLL that can be loaded by MATLABMATLAB Samples availableMATLAB Class for simplified access to Controller DLL available
    C-843DC, Voicecoilyesyesyes

    If you need components for other controllers please ask your local sales office for the current status.


    Information on PI Software Resources 

    M-833 and M-880 Parallel Kinematics Tripod Micropositioners with Active Drive™ Servo Motors

    In addition to its wide range of 6-axis Hexapod parallel-kinematic positioners, PI also offers 3-axis stages that take advantage of the parallel-kinematic design principles. An innovative X, Z, ?Y, tripod stage and a low profile planar XY ?Z stage are available.

    M-880 3-Axis Planar Precision Positioning System

    M-880.PD (see image, top) XY-Rot-Z parallel kinematics system with very high holding force is for planar load positioning up to 20 kg with sub-micron accuracy.

    • Travel Ranges 20 x 20 mm / 8°
    • Static Load Capacity to 150 kg
    • ActiveDrive™ Servo Motors
    • Low Profile through Parallel Kinematics
    • Min. Incremental Motion to 0.75 µm
    • Large Clear Aperture
    • Sophisticated Controller Included


    M-833 Parallel Kinematic Tripod / Goniometer

    The M-833 (see image, bottom) parallel-kinematics tripod is designed for precision positioning in X, Z, ?Y, offering elevation, translation and tilt motion around the (horizontal) y-axis, with a user-defined pivot point.

    • Goniometer Z Stage with Freely Selectable Pivot Point
    • Travel Ranges ±25 mm / ±25 mm / ±30°
    • Load Capacity to 4 kg
    • Min. Incremental Motion to 0.1 µm
    • ActiveDrive™ Servo Motors
    • Compact Design with Parallel Kinematics

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    New! PI Capacitive Position Sensors - Nanometrology Solutions Brochure Available for Download

    In the field of nanopositioning, as well as for scanning and nanometrology applications, capacitive displacement measurement systems from PI provide the highest precision and the best possible measurement linearity. Accuracy, resolution, linearity, stability and bandwidth are far better than with conventional nanometrology sensors such as LVDTs or strain gauge sensors.

    • Capacitive Position Metrology
    • Applications for Capacitive Position Sensors:
    • Measuring:
      • Multi-Axis Motion
      • Straightness / Flatness Motion
      • Out-of-Plane Motion
      • Tip / Tilt Motion
      • Vibration, Flatness, Thickness
      • Force with Micronewton Sensitivity
      • Layer Thickness
    • PISeca™ Single-Electrode Capacitive Sensors
    • PISeca™ Signal Conditioner Electronics
    • Three-Channel Sensor / Servo Controller Module
    • Capacitive Two-Plate Position Sensors
    • Capacitance Sensors Tutorial

    D-510 PISeca™ Single-Electrode Capacitive Sensors


    PI Adds New Products to Its Vacuum-Compatible Line


    The 2009 PI catalog presents a number of new standard and custom vacuum compatible products, ranging from servo motor actuators to complex 6-Axis Hexapod systems for use in a vast variety of applications.

    More information on vacuum compatible products 

    Brochure: "Vacuum-Compatible and Non-Magnetic Drive Technologies" 

    Brochure: "High Vacuum and UHV Positioning Systems"

    Piezo-Flexure Stages for Nanopositioning Applications

    P-915KLVS Large Aperture, Vacuum Compatible XYZ Piezo Scanner

    P-915KLVS high-dynamics, vacuum compatible, high-load nanopositioner XYZ piezo scanner offers a very large clear aperture of 200 x 200 mm.

    • Vacuum Compatible to 10-6 hPa
    • Direct Metrology with Capacitive Sensors
    • Excellent Straightness: <0.1 µrad Runout
    • Frictionless, High-Precision Flexure Guiding System
    • Direct Metrology with Capacitive Sensors

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    P-915KLVS Specifications 

    P-915KVPZ Large Aperture, Vacuum-Compatible Piezo-Z Stage

    The high-load, high dynamics, direct-drive P-915KVPZ stage, with its large clear aperture provides high stiffness for fast operation.

    • Travel Range 45 µm
    • Large Clear Aperture 273 x 273 mm
    • Direct Metrology with Capacitive Sensors
    • Direct Drive for High Dynamics and Stiffness
    • Vacuum Compatible up to 10-6 hPa
    • Outstanding Lifetime Due to PICMA® Piezo Actuators

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    P-915KVPZ Specifications

    P-733.2UD Non-Magnetic XY Piezo Scanning Stage for UHV to 10-9 hPa


    • Travel Ranges to 100 x 100 µm in X,Y & to 10 µm in Z
    • Resolution to 0.1 nm with Capacitive Sensors, Ideal for Super-Resolution Microscopy
    • High-Speed Versions with Direct Drive
    • Parallel Kinematics for Better Multi-Axis Accuracy and Dynamics
    • Parallel Metrology for Active Trajectory Control
    • Frictionless, High-Precision Flexure Guiding System
    • Clear Aperture 50 x 50 mm for Transmitted-Light Applications

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    P-733.2UD Specifications 

    P-363 PicoCube™ XY(Z) High-Dynamics Nanoscanner for Scanning Probe Microscopy


    • Ultra-High-Performance Closed-Loop Scanner for AFM/SPM
    • Compact Manipulation Tool for Bio/Nanotechnology
    • Resonant Frequency 9.8 kHz
    • Capacitive Sensors for Highest Accuracy
    • Parallel-Motion Metrology for Automated Compensation of Guiding Errors
    • 50 Picometer Resolution
    • 5 x 5 x 5 µm Travel Range

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    P-363 Specifications 

    Micropositioning Stages

    M-663K Vacuum-Compatible, Piezo-Motor-Driven Miniature Translation Stage


    • Smallest Translation Stage with Closed-Loop Linear Motor and Encoder
    • Travel Range 19 mm
    • Vacuum Compatible up to 10-6 hPa
    • Direct Metrology Linear Encoder
    • Resolution 0.1 µm
    • XY Combination Possible

    M-682K Non-Magnetic, Piezo Ceramic Motor-Driven Translation Stage


    • Integrated Non-Magnetic PILine® RodDrive
    • Travel Range 50 mm
    • Integrated Linear Encoders with 0.1 µm Resolution
    • Up to 6 N Force Generation
    • Closed-Loop Velocity up to 100 mm/s
    • Low Profile, Small Footprint


    Hexapods / 6-Axis Positioning Systems

    Vacuum Hexapod 6-Axis Positioner Parallel-Kinematics System for Wide Temperature Ranges


    • 6 Degrees of Freedom, Works in Any Orientation
    • Vacuum Compatible up to 10-6 hPa
    • 200 kg Load Capacity (Vertical)
    • Repeatability to ±1 µm
    • Encoder Resolution to 5 nm

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    M-850K Specifications 

    M-824 Compact 6-Axis-Positioning System Precision Parallel-Kinematics Micropositioner with Controller


    • Extremely Compact
    • Travel Ranges to 45 mm (linear), 25° (rotation)
    • Load Capacity to 10 kg, Self Locking Version
    • Resolution to 7 nm
    • Min. Incremental Motion to 300 nm
    • Repeatability ±0.5 µm
    • Velocity to 25 mm/sec

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    M-824 Specifications 

    Linear Actuators

    M-227K High-Resolution DC-Mike Linear Actuator


    • Compact Design
    • Vacuum Compatible up to 10-6 hPa
    • Non-Rotating Tip
    • Closed-Loop DC-Motors

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    M-227K Specifications 

    N-380, N-381 NEXACT® Linear Actuator, Manipulator, Piezo Stepper


    • Travel Range 30 mm
    • Novel, Zero-Wear Piezo Stepping Drive, Ideal for Micro- and Nano-Manipulation
    • Integrated Linear Encoder Option for Highest Accuracy with 20 nm Resolution
    • Very High Acceleration, e.g. for Cell Penetration
    • Two Operating Modes: Continuous Stepping Mode and Continuously Variable, High-Dynamics Analog Mode for 30 pm Resolution**
    • Up to 10 N Force Generation
    • Self-Locking at Rest, no Heat Generation
    • Smooth Motion, no Closed-Loop Jitter
    • Vacuum-Compatible and Non-Magnetic Versions

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    N-380, N-381 Specifications 

    N-310 NEXACT® OEM Miniature Linear Motor/Actuator


    • 20 mm Standard Travel Range, Flexible Choice of the Runner Length
    • Compact and Cost-Effective Design
    • 0.03 nm Resolution
    • To 10 N Push/Pull Force
    • Low Operating Voltage
    • Self-Locking at Rest, No Head Dissipation, Nanometer Stability
    • Non-Magnetic and Vacuum-Compatible Working Principle

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    N-310 Specifications 

    N-214, N-215 NEXLINE® Linear Motor/Actuator


    • 20 mm Travel Range
    • 0.03 nm Resolution Open-Loop and 5 nm Closed-Loop
    • To 400 N Push / Pull Force and 600 N Holding Force
    • Self Locking when Power down, No Heat Generation
    • Non-Magnetic and Vacuum-Compatible Working Principle

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    N-214, N-215 Specifications 

    Other Standard Positioning Systems with Vacuum Options

    Piezo Actuators 
    Basically all Piezo Actuators are available in vacuum compatible versions. 

    P-561 · P-562 · P-563 PIMars™ XYZ Piezo System


    • Parallel-Kinematics / Metrology for Enhanced Responsiveness / Multi-Axis Precision
    • Travel Ranges to 340 x 340 x 340 µm
    • Capacitive Sensors for Highest Linearity
    • Frictionless, High-Precision Flexure Guiding System
    • Excellent Scanning Flatness
    • High-Dynamics XYZ Version Available; Custom Versions to 6-DOF
    • Clear Aperture 66 x 66 mm
    • Outstanding Lifetime Due to PICMA® Piezo Actuators
    • UHV Versions to 10-9 hPa

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    P-561 · P-562 · P-563 Specifications 

    PI Hexapod Collection keeps Growing

    PI - the world leader in Hexapod (Stewart platform) systems design - has been manufacturing 6-Axis parallel-kinematcs precision positioning systems for industry and research for more than 15 years. An array of new standard and custom hexapods is now available for a large variety of applications. All provide six degrees of freedom, have no moving cables (which improves reliability and precision), and have virtual pivot points.

    These new hexapods can be used in a vast variety of applications, and are able to withstand extreme conditions, such as:

    • High Loads
    • Moisture/Water
    • High Altitudes
    • Exposure to the Outdoors
    • Applications Requiring Vacuum Compatibility.


    Piezoelectric Motors Move Ahead


    PI and PiezoMotor Uppsala Commonly Use Piezo Technology PiezoMotor Uppsala AB, Sweden, and Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co KG have agreed on a cross licensing of specific patents of each companies patent portfolio. Both parties expect to strengthen their establishment on the market by combining their complementing patents concerning piezo motor concepts.

    "Together, we certainly cover the most applicable technologies for piezo motors", Dr. Karl Spanner, the CEO of PI, states and Per Oskar Lithell, the CEO of PiezoMotor Uppsala, adds "the goal is, to bring new piezo motor technologies to market that will change the world of micro motors". PI owns specific expertise in high-performance piezoelectric positioning for almost 40 years. This allows for offering nanometer-precision accuracy in combination with superior linearity and dynamics as well as for fast and compact piezo motor drive technology.

    Founded in 1997, PiezoMotor Uppsala AB develops, manufactures and brings to market several types of piezoelectric motors. A number of technological platforms have been developed and successfully patented. Today, PiezoMotor Uppsala holds approximately 50 granted or pending patents. Piezoelectric motors are used in optical metrology, microscopy, semiconductor manufacturing and inspection, medical technology and automation.

    2009 PI Catalog in Japanese Available as PDF Download


    The NEW "Piezo Nano Positioning Inspirations 2009" catalog from PI is available now in Japanese in PDF format. It features a very broad range of precision motion control products such as:

    • Precision Linear Actuators (Ceramic, & Classical)
    • Compact scanning stages for imaging applications
    • Fast Steering Mirrors
    • Piezo-driven, low-profile nanopositioning stages for scanning microscopy
    • General-purpose, multi-axis nanopositioning systems
    • Capacitive Nanometrology Sensors
    • Digital & Analog Nanopositioning Controllers
    • Long-travel piezo flexure nano-stages (to 1800 µm)
    • Vacuum-compatible Hexapod 6-axis alignment systems
    • Ultrasonic linearmotor-driven stages and piezo motors
    • Servo, Stepper & Piezomotor controllers

    P-545, M-545 PInano™ Nanopositioning Systems for Super-Resolution Microscopy

    The new PInano™ series nanopositioning stages feature a very low profile of 20 mm (0.8"), a large aperture and deliver highly accurate motion with sub-nanometer resolution in 2 and 3 axes.

    24-Bit Piezo Controller with Multiple Interfaces Included 
    A piezo controller is included and comes with three 24-bit resolution interfaces (USB, Ethernet, RS-232) and an analog interface, as well as solid software support for all major image acquisition packages. With its 24-bit DAC converters, commanded resolution is improved by two orders of magnitude over the still widely used 16-bit converters

    High Stability Manual/Motorized Microscope Stage Available 
    The piezo stage is supplemented by the optional M-545 XY, 25x25mm microscope stage available in different versions for Olympus, Nikon, Zeiss and Leica microscopes. This high stability stage was designed to handle the acceleration forces of a fast piezo scanning stage.

    Cost Efficient Design through Optimization for the Application 
    The PInano™ series of piezo stages extends PI's successful P-527, P-733 and P-563 series of capacitive direct-metrology nanopositioning stages. PInano™ series systems were developed to provide high performance at lower cost, by adapting mechanics and controller exactly to the requirements of the target applications.

    Improved Linearity with Optimized Servo Circuit 
    For highly stable, closed loop operation, piezoresistive sensors are applied directly to the moving structure and precisely measure the displacement of the stage platform. The very high sensitivity of these sensors provides optimum position stability and responsiveness as well as sub-nanometer resolution. The proprietary servo controller significantly improves the motion linearity compared to conventional piezoresistive sensor controllers.

    Features & Advantages

    • Low Profile for Easy Integration: 20 mm (0.8“)
    • Large Aperture for 1x3"Slides. Accessories & Holders Available
    • All Parts Black Anodized for Minimum Reflections
    • 200µm Standard Travel Range, Longer Ranges Available
    • Longest Lifetime with Proprietary PICMA® Piezo Technology
    • Cost Effective due to Low-Cost Piezoresistive Sensors
    • Compatible w/ Leading Image Acquisition Software Packages
    • Closed-Loop Control for High Repeatability and Accuracy
    • Millisecond Step Time, ideal for Super-Resolution Microscopy
    • Recessed Sample Holders for Maximized Utility
    • 24 Bit Controller with USB, Ethernet, RS-232 Interface and Analog Control
    • Available Manual Long Travel Stage with Motor Upgrade Option

    Application Examples Scanning Microscopy, Single Molecule Microscopy, 3D Imaging, Autofocusing, Scanning and Alignment Tasks in Bio-Nanotechnology. 

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    PI Newsletter #39 Available as PDF Download

    • Piezo Nanopositioning Systems in Fluorescence Microscopy
    • Miniaturized Piezo Motors for Safety Technology
    • RodDrive Mini Motor
    • PI, a MathWorks Product Partner
    • DuraAct™ Patch Transducers: Smaller and Thinner
    • PI, a Carl Zeiss Supply Chain Partner
    • Lower Profile Linear Motor Stages
    • PIFOC® Nano-Focusing Drive based on PiezoWalk Motor: Longer Travel & Higher Stiffness


    Datasheets & Additional Information

    Download: PI Newsletter 39 
    Library of PI Newsletters 
    Complete PI Catalog 
    New PI Brochure on Piezoelectrics for Microdispensing

    E-616 Affordable Steering Mirror Controller for Fast Multi-Axis Piezo Tip/Tilt Platforms

    • Three Integrated Amplifiers Provide up to 10 W Peak Power
    • Closed-Loop and Open-Loop Versions
    • Internal Coordinate Transformation Simplifies Control of Parallel Kinematics Designs (Tripod & Differential Drive)
    • Compact and Cost-Effective Design for OEMs

    The E-616 is a special controller for piezo based tip/tilt mirrors and tip/tilt platforms.

    Tripod or Differential Piezo Drive—One for All!
    All PI multi-axis piezo tip/tilt mirrors are based on parallel-kinematics: all actuators affect the same platform. PI basically distinguishes two kinds of designs: the tripod design (e.g. S-325, see Link) allowing Z/tip/tilt motion and the quadropod differential drive design (S-330, see Link or S-334, see Link) where actuators operate in pairs in a push / pull-mode.

    Internal Coordinate Transformation Simplifies Control
    The E-616 has can drive both designs. Its internal circuitry takes care of the coordinate transformation.

    Simple Setup and Operation
    To facilitate integration, setup and operation the E-616 features both front and rear panel connections.

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    P-725.xDD PIFOC® High-Dynamics Piezo Microscope Objective Z-Scanner

    • Very Stiff for Fastest Settling Time under 5 msec with Microscope Objective
    • 20 µm Travel Range
    • Compatible with Metamorph™ and other Image Acquisition Software Packages
    • Scans and Positions Objectives with Sub-nm Resolution
    • Parallel Flexure Guiding for Minimized Objective Offset
    • Choice of Position Sensors: Capacitive Direct Metrology (Higher Performance) or Strain Gauges (Lower Cost)
    • Outstanding Lifetime Due to PICMA® Piezo Actuators
    • QuickLock Adapter for Easy Attachment

    Direct Drive for Ultra-Fast Scanning and Positioning
    The P-725.xDD microscope objective positioners were designed for extremely fast motion over relatively short travel ranges up to 20 µm. Their ultra-stiff direct piezo drive (1.2 kHz resonant frequency) enables the highest scanning rates and response times of only 5 msecs - essential for time-critical tasks.

    Superior Accuracy With Direct-Metrology Capacitive Sensors
    Capacitive position feedback is used in the top-of-the-line model. PI's proprietary capacitive sensors measure position directly and without physical contact. They are free of friction and hysteresis, a fact which, in combination with the positioning resolution of well under 1 nm, makes it possible to achieve very high levels of linearity. A further advantage of direct metrology with capacitive sensors is the high phase fidelity and the high bandwidth of up to 10 kHz.

    Alternatively compact, more cost-efficient strain gauge sensors (SGS) featuring nanometer resolution are implemented. Absolute-measuring SGS-sensors are applied to appropriate places on the drive train and thus measure the displacement of the moving part of the stage relative to the base.

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    Nanopositioning goes 24 Bit: USB Interface and High-Resolution AD Converters for E-621, E-625, E-665, E-500

    • Integrated USB Interface, 24 bit DA converters
    • Network Capability with up to 12 Channels
    • Position Controller for Strain Gauge and Capacitive Sensors
    • Notch Filter for Higher Bandwidth
    • Additional Analog Interface
    • Data Table for User-Defined Curves

    PI is switching to a new generation of 24-bit resolution interfaces for its nanopositioning stage controllers. The new interfaces will allow better than 100 picometers command resolution even on the latest generation long travel piezo nanopositioning stages (1 mm and up) such as the PIHera™ series closed-loop flexure stages.

    1 to 12 Channels, Many Variations
    The new controllers come in a variety of bench-top, rack-mount and OEM card versions from single-channel units for simple linear actuator applications to multi-axis system controllers with 12 channels per rack.


    Extensive Software Support 
    The new piezo controllers come with Windows installation software, DLLs and LabVIEW drivers. The extensive command set is based on the hardware-independent General Command Set (GCS), common to all PI micro & nanopositioning systems. GCS reduces the programming effort in the face of complex multi-axis positioning tasks or when upgrading a system with a different PI controller.

    Datasheets & Additional Information




    PI Newsletter #40 Available as PDF Download

    • Technical Progress with Ultrasonic Piezomotors; 
      Watch Video of piezo motor in Leica Geosystems AG Total Station Theodolite
    • S-340 Tip/Tilt Mirror Platform with New Sensors
    • Rotation Stage with 720 °/s is only 15 mm High: PILine® Technology Makes it Possible
    • Advanced Piezo Control – New Control Concept for Faster Settling
    • PI nano™ Precision Postioning Systems for Microscopy
    • Increased Data Throughput with Real-Time Operating System Upgrade
    • Medical Engineering News: Driven by Piezo
    • Faster Switching with New PICMA® Actuators and Amplifiers
    • Miniature Positioner with NEXACT® Stepping Drive


    Datasheets & Additional Information

    M-660: Lowest Profile, High Speed Rotation Table is Piezo-Motor Driven

    The new ultra-low profile (0.6”), direct-driven, high-speed rotary stage is based on PI’s proprietary PILine® piezomotor technology.

    Fast, Self Locking, Direct Drive, Direct Encoder
    The M-660 precision rotation stage reaches top speeds of 720 degrees/sec. and resolution to 4 µrad. Its self-locking ceramic drive holds the position steady at rest, with no energy consumption and heat generation. A directly coupled precision optical encoder provides phase lag-free, backlash-free feedback to the servo controller.

    Features & Advantages

    • Max. Velocity 720 °/s, Unlimited Travel Range
    • Low Profile: Only 15 mm (0.6”)
    • Self-Locking Ceramic Direct Drive: Energy Saving & High Position Stability
    • Direct Metrology Precision Encoder, 4 µrad Resolution
    • PILine® Drive: Non-Magnetic, Vacuum-Compatible Working Principle
    • Compact Combinations with Linear Stages Available

    Ceramic Drive used in the latest Generation Optical Instruments
    The compact design with minimized mass and inertia provides high precision bidirectional speed and position control, as well as high speed motion contouring. The M-660 is based on the new U-641 Piezo Motor and outperforms the stability, acceleration and settling speed of traditional servo motor direct drives and gear-driven mechanisms. The innovative motor drive was also chosen by Leica Geosystems AG’s in their newest generation of surveying instruments for geodesy, because it can provide significantly higher speeds, shorter positioning times and a very high positioning accuracy when moving the measuring optics.

    Controller / Software Support
    A newly designed piezo motor controller is available to take advantage of the specific motion characteristics of ultrasonic ceramic motors. USB interfacing and a solid software and driver package for seamless integration are included.

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    P-736: PInano™ Z, High-Speed Vertical Slide Scanner for 3D Microscopy & Super Resolution Microscopy

    The new PInano™ Z is a low-profile vertical piezo scanner for microscope applications. The stage is optimized for very fast step and settle and easy integration into high-resolution microscopes. PInano™ Z stages feature a very low profile of 0.8" (20 mm), a large aperture, and travel ranges of up to 200 µm with sub-nanometer closed-loop resolution–ideal for leading-edge microscopy and imaging applications.

    Cost Effective Design, High Performance
    PInano® series piezo positioning stages are designed to provide high performance at minimum cost. For highly-stable, closed loop operation, piezoresistive sensors are applied directly to the moving structure and precisely measure the displacement of the stage platform. The very high sensitivity of these sensors provides optimum position stability and responsiveness as well as sub-nanometer resolution.

    Features & Advantages

    • Extremely Fast Step & Settle, From 5 msec
    • Low Profile for Easy Integration: 20 mm (0.8")
    • 100 and 200 µm Travel Ranges
    • Longest Lifetime with Proprietary PICMA® Piezo Technology
    • Cost Effective due to Low-Cost Piezoresistive Sensors
    • Compatible w/ Leading Image Acquisition Software Packages
    • Closed-Loop Control for High Repeatability and Accuracy
    • 24 Bit USB Controller & Software Included

    Working Principle / Reliability
    Flexures optimized with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) are employed to guide the PInano® series stages. FEA techniques give the design the highest possible stiffness in, and perpendicular to, the direction of motion, and to minimize linear and angular runout. Flexures allow extremely high-precision motion, no matter how minute, as they are completely free of play and friction. The award-winning PICMA® piezo drives are more robust than conventional piezo actuators, featuring superior lifetime and performance in both dynamic and static applications. Because guidance, actuators and sensors are all maintenance-free, these nanopositioning systems achieve outstanding levels of reliability.

    Controller & Software Included
    The PInano™ Z stage comes complete with a powerful closed-loop controller.

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    NEXLINE®: High-Force Ceramic Linear Drive for Long-Range Nanopositioning

    • Travel Range 20 mm
    • Resolution to 0.03 nm (30 Picometers)
    • Up to 800 N Holding Force
    • Self-Locking at Rest
    • Non-Magnetic and Vacuum-Compatible Working Principle
    • Cleanroom Compatible

    N-216 NEXLINE® high-load linear motors are ultra-precision nanopositioning actuators with travel ranges to 20 mm and push / pull forces to 600 N (130 lb). The operating principle is based on coordinated motion of a number of highly preloaded linear and shear piezo elements acting on a runner and does not involve rotation/linear conversion. The working principle is non-magnetic, vacuum & clean room compatible.

    Open & Closed Loop Operation 
    N-216 comes in two versions for open- or closed-loop operation, as well as in two different load configurations. Closed-loop versions are equipped with a linear encoder for direct position measurement of the moving runner. The encoder features 5 nm resolution over the full travel range. In open-loop operation a positioning resolution to 30 picometers can be realized by use of the (high-dynamics) analog operation mode.

    Extreme Reliability, Virtually Unlimited Lifetime 
    NEXLINE® drives have many high-end applications from ultra-precision manufacturing and semiconductor test equipment to astronomy and high energy physics applications. They excel when the requirements for high forces, precision, lifetime and stability are paramount. The extreme reliability makes them ideal for applications in difficult-to-access internals of instruments, where nanometer-realm adjustment and / or vibration cancellation are required. To promote long lifetime, the PiezoWalk® controller can reduce the operating voltage on all the piezo elements to zero at any position without affecting the full holding force (up to 800 N, 177 lbs).

    PiezoWalk® Working Principle Allows Different Operation Modes 
    NEXLINE® drives overcome the limitations of conventional nanopositioning systems in their combination of long travel ranges and high resolution and stiffness. The piezoceramic clamping and shear elements act directly on a moving runner coupled to the load. For maximum velocity, and long distance movements, the runner can be driven in full step mode. Extremely uniform motion and constant velocity is achieved with the nanostepping mode. In addition to combining long travel ranges with piezo-class precision, NEXLINE®PiezoWalk® drives also offer a high-dynamics analog operation mode (100's of Hz) over smaller distances (to 6 µm).

    High-Dynamics Analog Mode for Application Flexibility 
    In the highly responsive analog operation mode (distance less than one fullstep), the position resolution is only limited by the stability of the control signal (typically 10s of picometers are feasible). This mode can be used for ultra-precise adjustments, scanning, dithering and also for active vibration control. Customized NEXLINE® drives for different loads, travel ranges and dynamic requirements are feasible, because PI fully controls the manufacturing process of the "piezo engines" internal to the NEXLINE® motors .

    Choice of Controllers 
    NEXLINE® operation is supported by two motion controller models providing different features. The (lower-cost) E-755 controller offers full functionality for nanometer precise positioning. The E-712 supplies more sophisticated linearization algorithms resulting in very smooth motion with highly constant velocity and offers greater flexibility by nature of its modular design.

    Patented Technology 
    The products described in this document are in part protected by the following patents:

    German Patent No. 10148267 
    US Patent No. 6,800,984

    The N-216 models replace the former N-214 and N-215 models.

    M-692: Low Profile, Linear Motor Stages with Linear Encoder

    PI's ultra-low profile (14 mm / 0.6”), ultrasonic linear-motor-driven M-692 series of translation stages was designed for high-speed, high-stability positioning tasks with limited space. These stages are the lowest profile closed-loop linear motor equipped micropositioning systems in the industry. Based on PI’s proprietary PILine® ultrasonic ceramic motor technology (US Pat. No. 6,765,335) these stages provide velocity to 350 mm/sec, while holding a stable position with zero energy consumption when at rest.

    Linear Encoder Integrated, Scalable Design
    Two standard versions are available: M-692.1U4 with 20 mm stroke and M-692.2U4 providing 90 mm. Both versions are equipped with integrated linear encoders for backlash free positioning. The stages can be arranged to form compact XY systems. The basic design is scalable and can be varied to provide different travel ranges to 300 mm. Vacuum-compatible versions are also available on request.

    Features & Advantages

    • Stable: Self Locking at Rest
    • Closed Loop: Linear Encoder for backlash free Positioning
    • Fast: Ultrasonic Linear Motor provides to 350 mm/sec (14"/sec)
    • Very Low Profile: Only 14 mm (0.6" Height)
    • Closed Loop: Linear Encoder
    • Cost-Effective Design
    • Travel Ranges 20 and 90 mm
    • Compact XY Combinations Possible

    Optimized Controller and Drive Electronics 
    For optimum performance the highly specialized C-867 motion controller is recommended. This dedicated piezo motor controller also integrates the drive electronics which PILine® motors require to generate the ultrasonic oscillations for the piezoceramic element. Furthermore, the controller has a number of special characteristics, including continuous automatic drive frequency adjustment, dynamic parameter switching for optimized high-speed motion and settling behavior and some other features to address the requirements of ultrasonic motors.

    Datasheets & Additional Information

    PI Newsletter #42 Available as PDF Download

    • Optical Tweezers: Force Measurement in Nanoscopic Dimensions
    • Something New in Microscopy: 1 mm Objective Stage with Piezo Stepping Drives: Fast Steps with Nanometer Precision over Record Travel Range
    • Microscopy Profits from PI's Piezo Technology: PInano™ Scanning Stages for the Highly Accurate Positioning of Samples
    • Fast and Accurate in High- Resolution Microscopic Techniques: Piezo Z-Scanner for Object Slides
    • PIFOC® Piezo Drives now with 29 mm clear aperture: More Light for your Microscope
    • XY Microscope Stages with New Controller: Higher Stability with Ultrasonic Linear Motors
    • Good Reasons for Choosing PI Positioning Technology


    Datasheets & Additional Information

    Ultra-Compact Piezo Linear Motor Slides

    The new, patented, P-652-series PILine® ultrasonic motor linear slides are ideal for OEM applications where space is limited and masses are small. The drive design was optimized for moving small objects such as fibers, optomechanical components, micromechanics or MEMS fast and precisely. 
    The P-652 may replace classical drive elements like rotary motor/leadscrew assemblies or other linear motors in a micro-system. The basic advantages PILine® piezo linear motors offer compared to classical drives are

    • Non magnetic
    • High velocity
    • Compact size
    • Self-locking at rest without heat dissipation

    The P-652 linear piezo motors have the simplest possible design, comprising an ultrasonic piezoelectric resonator and two lateral sliders pressed against it by a spring doubling as sled. The load to be moved is mounted directly on the sled, and moved by a force of up to 110 mN. The P-652 requires only these 4 parts, unlike conventional electric motors. Highly integrated electronics are available for 3 V control.

    Ultrasonic Linear Motor Introduction 

    • Cost-Effective, High-Volume-Production Drive
    • Piezo Micro-Motor: 9.0 x 6.5 x 2.4 mm³
    • Travel Range 3.2 mm
    • Velocity to 80 mm/s
    • Self-Locking

    The integration of P-652 is simple because the moving sliders and the piezoceramic motor are already delivered as a unit. Mechanical and electrical integration must be assured by the system the P-652 operates in.

    Paper: Piezo Micromotor Development 
    Selection Piezo Motors & Stages 

    Brochure: Piezo Motors & Actuators in Medical Design 
    Linear Actuator Catalog

    PiezoMove: Affordable Piezo Flexure Actuators for Positioning, Scanning, Dispensing; Microfluidics, Biotechnology, Medical Engineering, Adaptronics

    Traditional Piezo Systems UsePiezo actuators and positioning systems are traditionally known for their extremely high precision in the sub-nanometer realm such as required in atomic force microscopy, nanotechnology and semiconductor applications. The extreme precision has given this cutting edge technology a reputation for high cost.

    Piezo actuators can do a lot more than "just" provide nanometer precision. Their excellent dynamics and high force play a crucial role in many areas, where the (nanometer) precision is of lesser importance: e.g. for fast switching, vibration cancellation, or to adjust tools in machines. In these applications the piezo actuator is one - if not the only - solution and in the case of the new PiezoMove OEM actuators, a very affordable one.

    PiezoMove actuators combine flexure guided motion with long travel ranges up to 1mm and affordability. They are very compact, easy to integrate, require no maintenance and provide service life of Billions of cyles. If nanometer precision is required, closed-loop versions are also available.

    PI PiezoMove OEM Actuators Offer:

    • Frictionless, High-Precision Flexure Guiding System
    • Travel Ranges to 1 mm (1,000 µm)
    • High Dynamics and Stiffness
    • Outstanding Lifetime Due to PICMA® Piezo Actuators
    • Custom Designs with Larger Travel or Faster Response and Non-Magnetic Versions Feasible
    • Available with Integrated Position Sensor
    • Ideal OEM Actuators for Precision Motion Control in Adaptronics, Optics, Medical, Biotech and Microfluidics Applications

    Application fields

    • Microfluidics: Valves, pumps, microliter and nanoliter dosing
    • Biotechnology: Cell manipulation, patch-clamp, microarrays, nanoliter dosing, dispensers, microstructuring with imprint processes
    • Medical engineering: Diaphragm pumps, valves, dosing, injection, sample handling
    • Mechatronics, machining, adaptronics: Active structures, vibration isolation, active tools, structure deformation
    • Laser technology, metrology: Cavity tuning, beam control, control of optics or slit widths, sample positioning.


    Datasheets and additional Information

    Products Free of Hazardous Substances — Implementation of RoHS at PI

    The EU (European Union) Directive 2002/95/EC, replaced since January 3th, 2013 by 2011/65/EU, better known as RoHS (Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment) will come into effect on 1 July 2006. According to Article 4, Paragraph 1 of this directive—implemented by §5 of the German Elektro- und Elektronikgerätegesetzes (Law Concerning Electrical and Electronic Devices), known as “ElektroG”—electrical and electronic devices newly brought into circulation after 1 July 2006 may no longer contain certain heavy metals and certain bromine compounds.

    Naturally, Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co. KG will comply with this directive and thus make our contribution to protecting the environment.

    2006 PI Catalog Supplement Available for Download


    Piezo-Driven Nanopositioning & Scanning Systems

    • P-772.OL Ultra Compact Open-Loop PZT Nanopositioning Stage
    • P-601 PiezoMove® High-Precision Lever Amplified Z-Actuator with Flexure Guiding
    • P-612.Z Compact Piezo Elevation Stage with Aperture
    • P-732.ZC High Dynamics Vertical Nanopositioning /Scanning Stage
    • P-733.Z High Speed Piezo Z-Nanopositioning Stage with Direct Metrology

    Piezo Drivers and Nanopositioning Controllers

    • E-761 3-Channel Digital Piezo Nanopositioning Controller in PCI-Board Format
    • E-625 Compact Piezo Amplifier & Servo-Controller with High-Speed RS-232 Interface
    • E-755 Digital Controller for NEXLINE® Nanopositioning Linear Drives

    Hexapods and Micropositioning

    • M-511.HD, M-714, C-702 Hybrid Nanopositioning Technology by PI
    • M-238 High-Load, High –Resolution Linear Actuator with Optional Linear Encoder
    • M-403 High Resolution Leadscrew-Driven Translation Stages with Stepper & DC-Motors
    • M-404 High Resolution Ball-Screw-Driven Translation Stages with Stepper & DC-Motors
    • M-413 High Resolution Leadscrew-Driven Translation Stages with Stepper & DC-Motors
    • M-414 High–Load Precision Translation Stages with Stepper & DC-Motors
    • V-106 Long-Travel, High-Dynamics Scanning System with Voice Coil Drives

    Motion Controllers

    • C-663 Mercury™ Step Compact Networkable Stepper Motor Controller

    Ceramic Piezo Motors & Stages

    • P-652 PILine® Micro Piezomotor Linear Drive
    • M-674 PILine® RodDrive Integrated Piezo Linear Motor Drive


    Download PI's 2006 Catalog Supplement

    PI Presents New Research Findings at ACTUATOR 2006