Linear Motion - Piezo Stages
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Flexure-guided piezo stages provide frictionless motion for applications that demand the highest degree of precision and speed. They use pre-loaded ceramic piezo actuators as the drive mechanism and flexure patterns to amplify and guide the motion. Although limited in total travel range, flexure-guided piezo stages provide unmatched stiffness, repeatability, and speed for applications that require up to 1000µm of travel range.
The piezo stages are paired with advanced controllers that offer closed-loop control for up to 6 axes. They combine ultra-low-noise driver electronics and motion-sensing modules. They utilize capacitive or strain gauge sensing technology. Their many interfaces and advanced features makes them a great value in demanding nanopositioning applications. To learn more about the controllers’ extensive capability and user-friendly GUI visit the nPoint website.
One of the most common use for piezo stages is the rapid movement of a microscope objective to maintain focus while a sample is being inspected/imaged. The nPFocus line does just that and offers ranges of motion up to 1000um. Common applications include Life Sciences, Semiconductor, Data Storage, and Microscopy. A typical objective weighs between 100g and 300g. Custom designs are capable of moving entire microscope turrets weighing up to 4kg. See product offering.
X, XY, XYZ Stages
Most of the piezo stage offerings are linear stages that move in one, two or three axes. They are utilized in applications where high resolution scanning and or rapid positioning are necessary. Typical travel ranges are between 20µm and 600µm. Most of the XY and XYZ stage designs employ parallel kinematics where the actuators for two (or more) axes will actuate one moving platform. These designs result in high stiffness and accuracy. Serial designs that combine multiple linear stages offer cost effective solutions for applications that may not require the highest accuracy possible. Stacked designs are also used when the available space is limited. See product offering.
Tip/tilt piezo stages provide up to 20mrad of mechanical travel range for fast steering mirror applications. Some of the applications that benefit from their accuracy and speed are optical communications/imaging and laser machining. Out tip/tilt stages use a well-defined pivot point. This allows for higher guiding accuracy. See product offering.