Miniature Precision Positioning Stages

December 08, 2017
Miniature Precision Positioning Stages

PI (Physik Instrumente) delivers a family of compact linear and rotary stages driven by ceramic direct-drive motors. The patented ultrasonic motors provide smooth motion with high resolution and a high dynamic range. The self-clamping motor principle locks the stage into place, devoid of creep, once a target position has been reached. This intrinsic brake-like behavior comes at no extra cost, and provides advantages that are not available with classical electro-magnetic drive technologies.

Applications include medical devices, optical instrumentation, photonics alignment and super-resolution microscopy.

Two linear stages with 18mm and 22mm travel are available, as well as an XY stage providing 22x22mm. Several encoder options, from 0.4µm to 10 nanometers, are standard. All stages achieve closed-loop peak velocities to 200mm/sec. The rotary stages come with turntable diameters from 20 to 50mm, encoder resolution down to 17µrad, and maximum velocity of 720 degrees per second.

The low inertia direct drive (no gears and other mechanical components to convert motion) allows for a very dynamic start-stop behavior with settling times in the millisecond range. Based on the ultrasonic principle with drive frequencies >100kHz – way beyond the human hearing range – the motors are silent. Displacement is generated in continuous sub-nanometric increments, leading to extremely smooth motion with a wide dynamic range.

Linear and rotary stages can be combined to form multiple-axis combinations.

Due to the high efficiency of the ultrasonic motors, the miniature stages can be integrated into mobile measuring and medical devices. Vacuum compatible versions are also available.