PI XY stage combines 10-nm resolution with 200-mm/s speed

Aug. 21, 2017

Auburn, MA. Nanopositioning design and engineering company PI (Physik Instrumente) announced it is delivering a new ultracompact XY scanner and positioner powered by small integrated direct-drive ultrasonic piezoceramic motors (a single axis version is also available). The patented drives provide smooth motion with high resolution, and the self-locking motor principle offers an advantage over magnetic-drive technologies: once the motor reaches a target position, it acts like a ceramic brake and locks the platform into place, providing long term stability at zero driving current and heat generation.

The U-723 joins PI’s existing portfolio of compact linear stages. It provides more than 0.8” travel per axis (22 x 22 mm), with a footprint of only 42 x 42 mm (1.6 x 1.6”). Its low profile of 21 mm and miniaturized design allows for easy integration into existing systems, especially when space is limited. In addition to high-speed motion up to 200 mm/s, the low inertia (direct drive, no rotating parts) allows for a very dynamic start-stop behavior with settling times in the millisecond range. Based on the ultrasonic principle with drive frequencies > 100 kHz, the motors are quiet. Displacement is generated in continuous subnanometric increments, leading to extremely smooth motion with a dynamic range from 1 µm/s to 200 mm/s.

Incorporated optical linear encoders provide position feedback with 10-nm resolution. Higher resolution stages are also available from PI. Due to the low power requirement of the ultrasonic motor, the U-723 can be integrated into mobile measuring and medical devices. Vacuum-compatible versions are also available.

To take advantage of the operating principle, providing superior dynamic performance with settling times in the millisecond range while maintaining high resolution and smooth operation, ultrasonic motors benefit from advanced control strategies, such as automatic switchover between several static and dynamic PID parameter sets and adaptive frequency tracking. PI offers a number of ultrasonic motion controllers (C-867 and C-877 product families) available in desktop, rack-mount, and OEM configurations. An ASIC chip containing the motion control algorithms is also available for OEM customers. A comprehensive software package is included, offering sample programs for LabVIEW and MATLAB as well as dynamic libraries for Windows and Linux. Interfaces include TCP/IP, USB, RS-232 and analog.



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