Precision Microscope Stages, Tools for Imaging / Bio-Nanotech, Life Sciences

Piezo nano-positioning stages are essential tools for high-resolution microscopy, such as Super Resolution Microscopy or AFM. Their sub-atomic resolution and extremely fast response allow researchers to create higher-quality images faster. PI provides a large variety of fast Z-Stages and collar piezo objective positioners for 3D imaging (Z-stack acquisition), deconvolution, and fast focusing applications.


PI's optical-axis Z-positioners are piezo-driven and typically achieve 10 times higher precision & focusing speed than conventional motorized Z-axis positioners. Controllers are equipped with high-bandwidth digital and analog interfaces for extremely fast response and compatibility with all major image acquisition packages, such as Metamorph, µManager, etc.

For long travel positioning, highly stable ultrasonic-ceramic motor driven stages are available. These self-clamping positioners provide significantly better long-term stability compared to conventional motor drives.

Check out PI's microscopy blog articles and download the Products for Microscopy and Electron Microscopy catalogs for more information.

Accessories for Microscopy Stages

Applications for Medical Engineering

Choose from a Product Group below, or scroll to see all Product Groups

Piezo Flexure Scanners for Microscope Lenses / Objective Z-Nanopositioners

Piezo driven lens positioners and scanners Z-nanopositioning mechanisms can move microscope objectives with extreme resolution and speed, typically one order of magnitude higher than conventional motor driven positioners.

PI provides piezo lens positioners with up to 2000µm travel. For longer travel ranges, piezo motor stages and electromagnetic drives are available.

Many of PI’s piezo controllers are compatible with major image acquisition software packages, to provide high performance images for deconvolution microscopy, Z-stack image acquisition and other super-resolution techniques. Settling times are typically in the low millisecond range. High guiding precision is achieved with frictionless, computer optimized flexures. Capacitive sensors guarantee sub-nanometer precision in closed-loop operation.

Long lifetime is guaranteed by PI‘s patented, Mars-Rover tested PICMA® piezo actuators.

Show more

N-725 PIFOC® Fast Piezo Nano Focus

2mm, PiezoWalk® Motor

  • 2000µm motion
  • PiezoWalk® motor, self-locking
  • Package with controller
  • Millisecond settling time
  • 0.5nm sensor resolution
P-725 PIFOC® Fast Piezo Nano Focus
Show more

P-725 PIFOC® Fast Piezo Nano Focus

400µm, Sub-Nanometer Precision

  • 400µm motion
  • Affordable package with controller
  • Millisecond settling time
  • Enhanced focus stability
  • Compatible with imaging software
P-721 PIFOC® Fast Piezo Nano Focus
Show more

P-721 PIFOC® Fast Piezo Nano Focus

100µm, Sub-Nanometer Precision

  • 100µm motion
  • Most affordable package
  • Cost efficient strain gauge sensors
  • Millisecond settling time
  • Compatible with imaging software
P-726 PIFOC® Fast Piezo Nano Focus
Show more

P-726 PIFOC® Fast Piezo Nano Focus

100µm, High-Stiffness, High End

  • 100µm motion
  • Ultra-stiff for heavy objectives
  • Millisecond settling time
  • Enhanced focus stability
  • Compatible with imaging software

Customizations

P-915KLPZ Piezo Z-Objective Scanner
Show more

P-915KLPZ Piezo Z-Objective Scanner

Low-Profile

  • 75µm motion
  • 15mm height, 60x60mm footprint
  • For objectives with W0.8 x 1/36'' thread
P-725KHDS PIFOC® Objective Scanner
Show more

P-725KHDS PIFOC® Objective Scanner

400µm For Heavy Objectives

  • 400µm motion
  • Higher stiffness for faster response with heavy objectives 
  • Millisecond settling time
  • Enhanced focus stability
  • Compatible with imaging software 

This custom autofocus system is driven by a PIMag voice coil motor. PI also provides the controller, alignment tools and routines to improve the assembly precision of the payload.

P-721KTPZ PIFOC® Nosepiece Nanopositioner
Show more

P-721KTPZ PIFOC® Nosepiece Nanopositioner

Move the Turret instead of One Objective

PI has designed a number of custom “nose piece” nanopositoners. The high stiffness of piezo ceramics makes it possible to dynamically move the complete microscope turret instead of one objective at a time.  

XY and XYZ Piezo Flexure Scanners for Microscopy

PInano® XY and XYZ piezo nanopositioning stages are designed to mount on manual or motorized microscope stages. They can accommodate slides or other inserts.

Digital Control: The PInano® packages include a digital servo controller (not to be confused with an analog servo with USB interface) which provides higher performance (linearity, dynamics) than conventional analog piezo controllers and allows parameter changes to adapt to different load situations to be made on the fly. In addition to USB and Ethernet interfaces, an analog 0-10V interface is also installed – convenient to use with many existing instruments providing analog outputs.

Piezo Resistive Sensors (PRS): Based on high resolution semiconductor strain gauges, often used in AFM’s, they provide a very high signal to noise ratio and low noise.

Capacitive Sensors: Non-contact, direct-metrology sensors that measure the gap of a moving platform against the static frame and provide the highest linearity and very low noise. 

Microscopy Blog

  • 200µm motion 
  • Nanometer resolution
  • Easy integration in microscopes
  • Sensor choice: Piezoresistive (PRS) - lower cost; Capacitive - higher linearity
P-545 PInano® Trak Direct Drive XYZ
Show more

P-545 PInano® Trak Direct Drive XYZ

High Speed for Particle Tracking

  • 70x70x50µm XYZ motion
  • Direct drive = Higher dynamics
  • Complete with digital controller
  • Fast response <5msec, subnanometer resolution: ideal for tracking
  • Easy integration in microscopes
  • Piezoresistive sensors 
M-545 XY Microscope Stage
Show more

M-545 XY Microscope Stage

High Stability, Manal Micrometers

  • 25x25mm travel range
  • Highly stable base for P-545 and P-736 PInano® piezo scanning stages
  • Low profile for easy integration: 30mm
  • Micrometer screws
  • For Nikon, Zeiss, Leica and Olympus microscopes
  • Motor upgrade available
P-733 XYZ Piezo Scanning Stages
Show more

P-733 XYZ Piezo Scanning Stages

Parallel Metrology, 100µm

  • 100x100x10µm motion
  • <0.3 nanometer resolution
  • Capacitive feedback
  • 50x50mm aperture
  • Frictionless precision flexure guides
P-561 / 2 /3 PImars, XYZ Piezo Stage
Show more

P-561 / 2 / 3 PImars, XYZ Piezo Stage

High End Performance, to 300µm

  • 100-300µm XY & XYZ motion
  • Six-axis option
  • Sub-nanometer resolution
  • Ultra-fast XY and XYZ versions
  • PICMA® long-life piezo drives

Ultra-Fast Piezo Flexure Stages for Single Molecule / Particle Tracking

Single molecule tracking requires very fast motion. Direct-drive piezo stage designs achieve millisecond responsiveness. High powered amplifiers with plenty of short term peak current provide the required bandwidth. The faster the piezo stage, the more important is a highly stable base. Self-clamping ultrasonic motor long-travel positioning stages (such as the PIline U-780) or the M-545 manual stage are essential to take full advantage of the extreme accelerations direct drive piezo scanning stages are capable of. 

P-545 PInano® Trak Direct Drive XYZ
Show more

P-545 PInano® Trak Direct Drive XYZ

High Speed for Particle Tracking

  • 70x70x50µm XYZ motion
  • Direct drive = Higher dynamics
  • Complete with digital controller
  • Fast response <5msec, subnanometer resolution: ideal for tracking
  • Easy integration in microscopes
  • Piezoresistive sensors 
P-733.3DD High-Dynamics Scanners
Show more

P-733.3DD High-Dynamics Scanners

Fastest XYZ Piezo Stages

  • 30x30x10µm motion
  • Direct drive = Higher dynamics
  • Up to 2.2 kHz resonant frequency
  • 100 picometers resolution
  • Frictionless precision flexure guides

Piezo Z Flexure Stages / Sample Scanners / K-Frame Stages

The PInano®  P-736 piezo insert Z-scanner is designed as an insert for microscope stages with a 160x110mm standard K-frame opening. It has an aperture of 93x65mm for microscope slides, Petri dishes, etc. A larger version of the P-736 stage with a full size K-frame opening, for well plates etc., is also available.

Digital Control: The PInano® packages include a digital servo controller (not to be confused with an analog servo with USB interface) which provides higher performance (linearity, dynamics) than conventional analog piezo controllers and allows changes to be made on the fly.  In addition to USB and Ethernet interfaces, an analog 0-10V interface is also installed – convenient to use with many existing instruments providing analog outputs.

Piezo Resistive Sensors (PRS): Based on high resolution semiconductor strain gauges, often used in AFM’s, they provide a very high signal to noise ratio and low noise.

Capacitive Sensors: Non-contact, direct-metrology sensors that measure the gap of a moving platform against the static frame and provide the highest linearity and very low noise. 

Microscopy Blog

P-736 Piezo-Z Scanner, w/Controller
Show more

P-736 Piezo-Z Scanner, w/Controller

For Microscope Slides

  • 200µm vertical motion
  • 1nm resolution
  • Fast step & settle, from 5msec
  • Low profile: 20mm (0.8")
  • Controller & software included
P-736 Piezo-Z  Scanner, w/Controller
Show more

P-736 Piezo-Z Scanner, w/Controller

For Multi Well-Plates

  • 220µm vertical motion
  • 1nm resolution
  • Fast step & settle, from 5msec
  • Low profile: 20mm (0.8")
  • Controller & software included
P-737 Piezo Z-Stage
Show more

P-737 Piezo Z-Stage

For Microscopy & Biotech

  • 100, 250, 500µm motion
  • 2-5 nanometer resolution
  • Millisecond response
  • Aperture for specimen holders
  • Integrates with motorized XY stages

Ultra-Stable Long Travel XY Microscopy Stages: Motorized and Manual

Ultra High Stability
Ultrasonic motors are self-clamping at the end of every move and on power off. This contributes to their extreme position stability (long term drift is significantly improved by the elimination of lubricant flow of screw-drive stages, see article here).

Fast Step & Settle and Wide Dynamic Range
Due to the direct drive and very low inertia, ultrasonic motors provide very fast start/stop behavior in the millsecond range, smooth motion with a very wide dynamic range from microns/second to 100’s of millimeters/second.

How Ultrasonic Motors Work
Both linear and rotary ultrasonic motors are based on compact piezo ceramic elements driven at high frequencies of 10’s to 100’s of kHz (beyond the human hearing range). Each oscillation cycle transfers nanoscopic motion to a linear or rotary ceramic surface bonded to a linear runner or rotary platform.

U-780 XY Microscope Stage
Show more

U-780 XY Microscope Stage

Silent Ultrasonic Linear Motor

  • 135x85mm XY motion range
  • 100nm encoder resolution 
  • 120mm/sec velocity
  • Combines with piezo flexure scanners
  • Self clamping = Ultra-high stability
  • With joystick and controller
M-545 XY Microscope Stage
Show more

M-545 XY Microscope Stage

High Stability, Manal Micrometers

  • 25x25mm travel range
  • Highly stable base for P-545 and P-736 PInano® piezo scanning stages
  • Low profile for easy integration: 30mm
  • Micrometer screws
  • For Nikon, Zeiss, Leica and Olympus microscopes
  • Motor upgrade available

The U-780 XY linear stage is a novel, low-profile, motorized precision positioning stage for high-resolution microscopes. It comes complete with a controller and joystick. The XY stage is based on PI’s patented ultrasonic ceramic linear motors. This drive technology provides extremely high stability – important for high resolution imaging. The motors are preloaded and automatically clamp when a position has been reached. Compared to conventional screw drives, position drift is significantly reduced. There is also no servo jitter as can be observed with electro-magnetic linear motors. No electric current is required and no heat is generated when resting at a position – further reducing drift and disturbances for highly sensitive measurements. The ultrasonic linear motors provide a very wide dynamic speed range from microns/second and below, up to more than 100mm/sec. A linear encoder with 100nm resolution is integrated for each axis – this direct position measurement principle eliminates play and backlash. The U-780 XY stage systems come with many software tools, such as PIMikroMove, PI General Command Set (GCS), and drivers for LabVIEW. Compatible with µManager, MetaMorph, Andor iQ, MATLAB.

U-751 XY Linear Stage
Show more

U-751 XY Linear Stage

Silent Ultrasonic Linear Motor

  • 25x25mm XY motion range
  • 100nm encoder resolution 
  • 100mm/sec velocity
  • 170x170mm footprint
  • Self clamping motor design
  • Vacuum options
U-723 Miniature XY Linear Stage
Show more

U-723 Miniature XY Linear Stage

Silent Ultrasonic Linear Motor

  • 22x22mm XY motion range
  • 10nm encoder resolution 
  • 200mm/sec velocity
  • 42x42mm footprint
  • Self clamping motor design
  • Vacuum options

Miniature Piezo Positioning Stages and Miniature Piezo Motor Actuators

For Innovative Microscopy Applications

Stick-slip piezo motors (inertia motors) permit the design of the smallest class of precision motorized positioners. The direct drive motors are only a few millimeters in size, there are no gears, or other conventional power transmission components involved that add size, complexity, play or backlash.

Piezo inertia motors make use of the difference in the static and dynamic friction coefficients between two surfaces; their controllers provide a quasi sawtooth output voltage, with a slow expansion phase and a fast contraction phase. In the expansion phase, the piezo actuator moves the slider; in the contraction phase, its inertia prevents the slider from following the quick motion of the actuator, and it remains at its position.

Overview Miniature Piezo Motor Stages

Overview Miniature Piezo Motor Actuators

 

 

6-Axis Positioners

Hexapod 6-axis parallel positioners are often referred to as Stewart Platforms. A hexapod is based on a 6-axis (XYZ, pitch, roll, yaw) actuator system arranged in parallel between a top and bottom platform. PI's parallel kinematics (PKM) precision positioning systems have many advantages over conventional serial kinematics stages, including lower inertia, improved dynamics, smaller package size, and higher stiffness. In addition, hexapods are more flexible than conventional 6 axis positioners.

Overview Hexapods

Hexapod Articles in Medical Applications

 

 

H-811 Miniature Hexapod
Show more

H-811 Miniature Hexapod

Brushless DC Motors

  • 34x32x13mm XYZ travel
  • 20x20x41° rotary travel
  • 5kg load
  • 5nm actuator resolution
  • 20mm/sec max. velocity
  • Ø136mm base, 114mm height
Q-821 Sub-Mini 6-Axis Platform
Show more

Q-821 Sub-Mini 6-Axis Platform

Ultra-Compact, Piezo Inertia Motors

  • 12x12x6mm XYZ travel
  • 12x12x33° rotary travel
  • 0.2kg load
  • 1nm sensor resolution
  • 5mm/sec max. velocity
  • Ø80mm base, 48mm height

Piezo Steering Mirrors / Mirror Scanners

PI's ultra fast piezo steering mirror platforms are based on frictionless flexure guides and high-speed solid-state piezoelectric drives.

Fast and Compact
These compact devices can provide integrated pitch and roll motion with a single moving mirror. They are faster than galvo-scanners and voice-coil driven beam steering systems (also available from PI) and can be used in both static and highly dynamic operation (e.g. scanning, tracking, drift and vibration cancellation).

Advantages of  PI Piezo Steering Mirrors
Coplanar multiaxis motion (based on parallel kinematics design), fast response (sub-millisecond), high resolution (up to nanoradian range), long travel ranges (up to 3 degrees optical deflection)

PI's parallel-kinematics multi-axis steering mirrors use only one platform/mirror for all axes. There is one common pivot point and no polarization rotation, an important feature for many precision optics applications.

Overview Piezo Steering Mirrors

Piezo Scanners / Piezo Stages for AFM

PZT tube scanners are often used in scanning microscopy applications.  PZT tubes make use of the d31 piezo effect. When voltage is applied, the tube shrinks radially and axially, proportional with the voltage.  By segmenting the tube axially, multi-axis motion is feasible and scanning is possible.

PICA Shear actuators can also be used in lateral scanning applications. They are more robust than scanner tubes and come in single axis to XYZ configurations.

P-363 XYZ PicoCube nanopositioning stages are based on shear actuators and capacitive position feedback sensors.

The P-313 XYZ scanner is made of a highly linear crystalline electroactive material and does not require position feedback sensors and closed-loop operation. The advantage is extremely high bandwidth and picometer precision, but at small travel ranges of 1µm.

PT230 Piezo Scanner Tube
Show more

PT230 Piezo Scanner Tube

Radial and Axial Motion - Fast

  • 70mm max. length
  • 2 to 80mm OD
  • 0.8 to 74mm ID
  • 0.30mm min. wall thickness 
  • Miniature size option
  • XYZ-scanner option
  • Wall thickness as small as 0.3mm
  • Sub-nanometer resolution
  • Large diameters to 80mm
  • Based on d-31 piezo effect
  • X, XY, XZ and XYZ versions
  • To 10µm travel
  • For fast scanning
  • Options: clear aperture, UHV
  • Extreme reliability >1B cycles
  • Picometer-resolution / Sub-msec response 
P-363 PicoCube XY(Z) Piezo Stages
Show more

P-363 PicoCube XY(Z) Piezo Stages

Nanotechnology, SPM, AFM

  • 5µm motion, 50pm resolution
  • Ultra-high performance scanner for AFM/SPM, nano-manipulation
  • Closed-loop, parallel-metrology
  • Capacitive feedback
P-313 PicoCube XY(Z) Stage
Show more

P-313 PicoCube XY(Z) Stage

Ultra-Linear Piezo Drive

  • 1µm motion
  • 20 picometer resolution
  • Highly linear piezo material - does not require closed-loop operation
  • Faster response, higher bandwidth

PI Microscopy products are compatible with many 3rd party drivers and software packages.
A few examples below:


Accessories for Microscope Stages – Slide Holders, K-Plate Holders, Adapters…