06-14-2010 09:28 AM CET - Industry, Real Estate & Construction

Fast steps with nanometer precision

Press release from: Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co. KG
N-725 Objective nanofocusing system with 1 mm travel range
N-725 Objective nanofocusing system with 1 mm travel range
Piezo stepping drives from Physik Instrumente (PI) can be combined with a high-resolution linear encoder for nanometer accuracy over the complete scanning range – and are now also available for PIFOC focusing systems for microscope objectives.

The new N-725 PIFOC scanner for microscope objectives with NEXACT piezo stepping drives provides travel ranges of up to one millimeter along the optical axis. At the same time the technology allows rapid positioning: The N-725 focusing system achieves transient times of around 20 milliseconds for steps of 200 nanometers. It has an extremely compact design and is no larger than conventional, piezo-based PIFOC objective stages.
The focal plane can easily be changed with a single mechanism thanks to the combination of high resolution and long travel ranges. There is therefore often no need for a combined Z-positioning of the objective, e.g. with stepper motor and additional piezo stages.

Piezo stepping drive – the multi-talented linear piezomotor:

The NEXACT® piezo stepping drive advantageously combines the best characteristics of piezomotor principles in a compact unit: High resolution, high force and high speed. The feed motion is achieved solely via the nanometer-accurate motion of clamped piezo actuators – non-wearing, high resolution and with controllable speed.
In stepping mode, high positional resolution can be achieved over the complete travel range at high drive forces. Moreover, the high stiffness also allows a rapid oscillatory motion with an amplitude of 7 micrometers and resolutions of up to 30 pm (analog operation, open-loop).
In addition, the drive is self-locking when it has reached its target and no longer needs to be powered, which is why it does not heat up. The position is stable in the nanometer range so there is no jitter about the target position, as is the case with servo motors and stepper motors.

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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