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PI has extended its E-616 multi-channel controller line for piezo-based steering and stabilisation mirror platforms.

Four open and closed-loop models are now available in bench-top and OEM module versions.

The closed-loop units contain two servo controllers, sensor circuit channels and three power amplifiers.

The E-616 Multi-Axis Controller features: three integrated amplifiers that provide up to 10W peak power; closed-loop and open-loop versions; bench-top and OEM modules; internal coordinate transformation, which simplifies control of parallel kinematics designs (tripod and differential drive); and piezo steering mirrors.

Piezo steering mirrors are faster than galvo mirror scanners and provide improved resolution and stability due to their high-stiffness solid-state piezo drives.

They are used to steer or stabilise beams or enhance image resolution.

Applications range from optical communication, astronomy and super-resolution microscopy to nano-lithography.

The controllers can drive parallel-kinematics (highest performance mechanics, where all piezo actuators are connected to the same moving platform) steering mirror designs.

With the tripod design (for S-325 Z/Tip/Tilt mirrors), the platform is driven by three piezo actuators spaced at 120 degrees.

The quadra-pod differential drive design (as used in the S-330 and S-334 mirror models) runs two orthogonal axes with a fixed pivot point based on two pairs of actuators operating in push/pull mode.

The differential evaluation of two sensors per axis improves linearity, stability and resolution.

Parallel-kinematics requires the transformation of the commanded tilt angles into the corresponding linear motion of the individual actuators.

In the E-616, this is taken care of by an integrated circuit, eliminating the need for additional external hardware or software.

Additionally, with the E-616.S0 tripod version, an offset-voltage can simultaneously command all actuators.

As a result, a vertical movement, for example for optical path length tuning, is obtained.

To facilitate integration, setup and operation, the E-616 features both front and rear-panel connections: the 25-pin sub-D piezo and sensor connector is located on the front, along with offset trim pots and LEDs for power and overflow.

A 32-pin rear connector allows the command and reading of the sensor and amplifier monitor outputs.

Physik Instrumente

PI is a global manufacturer of high precision positioning systems and products based on piezo technology. Used in markets as diverse as biotechnology, semiconductor, defence and astronomy, PI’s products work to improve the speed and precision of many cutting edge processes. Actuators, sensors and positioning systems with either sub-micron or nanometre level precision; many customised for the end user, are included in the product range.

With manufacturing and subsidiary offices around the world and a workforce of more than 500 PI provides direct local support where it is needed. Products range from component level piezo ceramic assemblies to six axis hexapod positioning robots. PI manufactures its own piezo ceramic material including multilayer devices that incorporate its patented ceramic insulation technology. Lead free ceramic technology is now also included in the company’s product range. With the flexibility and continuity of supply offered by having control of piezo ceramic production comes security and speed of delivery for customers who rely on or are looking to move into this area of technology. PI’s piezo ultrasonic and step drive motor technologies offer unique performance including self-locking capability, high force or high speed and non-magnetic and vacuum compatibility.

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