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PI has released two multi-axis stages for super-resolution microscopy applications, providing accurate motion with sub-nanometer resolution over travel ranges of 200um in XY and XYZ.

The PI Nano1x3 series XY and XYZ nanopositioning stages are designed for inverted microscopes from the four major players Leica, Nikon, Olympus and Zeiss.

The low-profile design of 20mm (0.8in) facilitates the integration.

The large aperture accommodates microscopy accessories such as slide holders and Petri dish holders.

An optional 25 x 25mm positioning stage serves as a stable basis for the piezo stage.

Features include: 24bit controller with USB, Ethernet, RS-232 interface and analogue control; 200um XY or XYZ travel, closed-loop control for sub-nanometer precision; low-cost piezoresistive sensors; low profile for easy integration: 20mm (0.8in); slide and Petri dish holder, Manual XY stage and motor-stage options; longer lifetime due to ceramic encapsulated piezo drives; software support for leading image acquisition packages.

A newly designed piezo controller is included and comes with three 24-bit digital interfaces (USB, TCP/IP and RS-232) and a wide-band analogue interface for compatibility with all control signals.

With its 24-bit DAC converters, commanded resolution is improved by two orders of magnitude over 16-bit converters.

The controller is also compatible with all major image-acquisition packages and comes with a variety of software drivers and programming examples.

For highly stable, closed-loop operation, piezoresistive sensors are applied directly to the moving structure of the stage and precisely measure the displacement of the platform.

The very high sensitivity of these sensors provides optimum position stability and responsiveness as well as sub-nanometer resolution.

The proprietary servo circuit is said to significantly improve the motion linearity compared to conventional piezoresistive sensor controllers.

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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