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Piezocube for 3D structuring

03-23-2010 11:09 AM CET | Industry, Real Estate & Construction

Press release from: Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co. KG

The nanopositioning system is suitable for travel ranges of up to 100 x 100 x 100 µm. The system is driven by piezo actuators and achieves resolutions of up to 0.2 nm at response times in the millisecond range.

The nanopositioning system is suitable for travel ranges of up to 100 x 100 x 100 µm. The system is driven by piezo actuators and achieves resolutions of up to 0.2 nm at response times in the millisecond range.

PI's range of high-precision stages – the NanoCube P-611 XYZ nanopositioning systems - prove their ability in new fields of application. The cube sides only measure 44 mm, making it suitable for travel ranges up to 100 x 100 x 100 µm and easy to integrate. The stages are driven by piezo actuators and achieve resolutions of up to 0.2 nm at response times in the millisecond range. The basic (open-loop) model is designed for high-resolution positioning where the absolute position is of secondary importance or whose control loop is closed externally. This is the case with tracking or fiber-positioning applications, for example. A closed-loop version with integrated position sensors is available for applications which require high accuracy both in absolute terms and also in terms of repeatability. Both versions use preloaded high-performance piezo actuators which are integrated into a friction-free, zero-backlash guiding system with FEM optimized flexures. The actuators, guides and sensors are non-wearing, making the systems very reliable and durable. This has already been proven in numerous applications where high precision is required. One example can be found in a product from the French company Teem Photonics, which uses the NanoCube P-611 in the new µFab3D microfabrication system. The system builds three-dimensional microstructures and objects in light sensitive materials such as polymers, proteins or noble metals.
The microfabrication system operates on the basis of so-called "two-photon absorption," where a pulsed beam of laser light is used to achieve a sufficiently high supply of energy at the focus. This changes the material structure by polymerization, cross linking of proteins or precipitations of metal ions. The typical fields of application include microfluidics, cell biology and the manufacture of photonic crystal structures in micro-optics.
The resolution of the system, i.e. the size of the machining points, which can be anywhere within the object, is 200 nm. The objects are fabricated "on the fly" at a speed of 100 µm/s. For a homogenous and high-quality result, the laser and the machining points must be aligned precisely and with constant speed. The NanoCube P-611 provides the optimum conditions here with a travel range of 100 x 100 x 100 µm. Since the size of the object to be machined is currently limited solely by the travel range of the piezo system, a system with greater travel ranges will be used in the future.

Over the last four decades, the Karlsruhe-based company has become the leading manufacturer of nanopositioning technology. PI is a private company with healthy growth, more than 500 employees world-wide and a flexible, vertically integrated organization which enables PI to fulfill almost any request in the field of innovative precision positioning technology. All key technologies are developed in-house. This means that every phase from the design right down to the shipment can be controlled: The precision mechanics and the electronics as well as the position sensors and the piezo ceramics or -actuators. The latter are produced by the subsidiary company PI Ceramic. PI has its own sales and service offices in all important markets. Moreover, the company maintains testing devices for nanometrology on three continents. PI Shanghai and USA have additional development and manufacturing resources which allow rapid local reaction to custom-engineered specifications.

Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co. KG
Auf der Roemerstrasse 1
76228 Karlsruhe
Phone + 49 721 48 46 - 0

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