Nanotechnology is already part of everyday life. The use of high-precision positioning systems in biotechnology, microscopy or semiconductor technology allows resolution of very fine structures in production and inspection. This allows production of more and more powerful integrated electronic components and investigation of new diagnostic and therapeutic methods in life sciences.
PI Ceramic offers a large number of standard products and solutions based on piezo technology. This includes piezoceramic components and elements as well as piezoelectric actuators in a large number of shapes and dimensions and with different motion characteristics. Whether they are manufactured with multilayer or pressing technology, or requested as individual item or as part of a larger order – the increased flexibility in the technological process guarantees short delivery times.
Precision components, stable control and a great deal of experience in engineering are essential for high-precision complex motion and positioning solutions. PI is a supplier of technologically sophisticated motion-centric solutions and therefore makes use of own drive components and high-precision positioners. All levels of integration can be offered up to multi-axis combinations that use different drive technologies including motion control.
Hexapod systems have a decisive advantage over stacked single-axis systems: Since all drives act on the moving platform simultaneously (in parallel), the system has the same motion characteristics in all directions. This includes both the dynamic parameters and the accuracy. Positioning tasks such as the alignment of samples or sensors that have no preferential direction of motion clearly benefit from the parallel-kinematic principle.
In particular in terms of wear and dynamics, magnetic direct drives, which include voice coil actuators and linear motors, offer advantages compared to common spindle-based technologies. Since they use as few mechanical components as possible, this results in less friction and backlash and thus more precision. When combined with a digital controller, they allow quick solution of problems in the automation system that require sub-nanometer-precision positioning and controlled actuator force.
PILine® ultrasonic piezomotors are small, high-speed and cost-efficient. Ideally suitable for applications of low operating cycles, they can also be integrated as drive into mobile measuring and medical devices. Due to their self-locking, the target position does not have to be held via additional brakes or electrical currents as in the case of magnetic drives.
Q-Motion® positioners are especially small. They are driven by a cost-effective, piezoelectric inertia direct drive with a motion resolution of 1 nm and even better. The product range contains single-axis linear or rotary stages up to parallel kinematic robots with six degrees of freedom. Q-Motion® stages are designed for ultra-high vacuum conditions to 10-9 and can even be designed for non-magnetic operation.
Piezo inertia drives have a particularly simple structure and are easy to control. Nevertheless, they have high resolution of less than one nanometer typical of piezo drives. Their small size makes them ideally suitable as drive systems for stages and actuators in a vacuum down to 10-9 hPa, allowing them to be used for 6-axis Hexapod systems. Due to self-locking, they are also suitable as drives in mobile measuring instruments and medical devices.
NEXLINE® piezomotors, also known as inchworm motors, are based on very stable and powerful shear and clamping actuators. The PiezoWalk® stepping drive used is based exclusively on static friction contacts of several piezo actuators on a rod. For feed forward, the actuators are lifted physically from the rod, generating no wear and no particles. PiezoWalk® drives have high resolution of less than one nanometer typical of piezo drives.
NEXLINE® piezomotors have particularly high forces and stiffnesses. They firmly hold the target position and are capable of dynamically compensating oscillations in the range of a few micrometers with nanometer resolution. Moreover, they are suitable for stages and actuators in a vacuum down to 10-9 hPa and can be used for 6-axis Hexapod systems.
PI offers UHV versions as catalog products for a number of positioning stage series. Almost all stages can be modified for use in different classes of vacuum. Design and manufacture for ranges beyond these limits are offered on request. Complete solutions for several axes are also possible. The vacuum feedthroughs are not included in the scope of delivery and may be ordered separately, if required. Unless agreed otherwise or described for the individual product, the bakeout temperature is max. 80 °C.