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PI is offering the Pifoc piezo Z-drive for the fast positioning of microscopy objectives or samples with a clear aperture of up to 29mm, enabling the creation of 3D images of living tissue.

These versions of the P-725 and P-721 stage series allow travel ranges up to 400um while offering high dynamics and nanometre-level position resolution.

For focusing purposes, either the imaging optics or the sample can be moved.

Pifoc piezo Z-drives for the objective can be very compact in size and do not affect the sample while focusing.

Features include: response times of a few milliseconds; resolution of a few nanometres; and simple integration in existing microscopy systems.

Screening tasks in biotechnology, medical diagnostics or pharmacy, for example, require the analysis of up to a few hundreds of samples.

The focusing of the individual samples, therefore, has to be fast.

In confocal microscopy, images of samples are generated in different focal planes and collated to one 3D image using software.

For this purpose, the position resolution of the piezo Z-drive has to be in the range of 10nm (0.01um).

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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