News | March 31, 2015

PIHera: Largest Family Of Piezo Stage Scanners With 10X Greater Positioning Area


PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P., a leading manufacturer of nanopositioning and precision motion-control equipment for nano-biotechnology, life science and photonics applications, provides the PIHera family of compact X, XY and Z flexure-guided piezo nanopositioning stages, offering record travel ranges to 1.8 millimeters.

Largest Variety: 60 Models / X, XY, Z, XYZ / 50 to 1800 µm Travel Ranges
The PIHera flexure positioner series offers the largest variety of travel ranges and options of any high precision piezo nanopositioning stage currently available.

PIHera stages come in single axis (horizontal and vertical), two-axis (XY), and XYZ combinations. Travel ranges start at 50µm and go all the way up to 1,800µm (1.8mm) – a record for flexure guided piezo stages.

A total of 60 standard variations are available, including closed-loop, and UHV compatible versions.

Mars Rover Proven Reliability
Driven by PI’s proprietary PICMA piezo ceramics (tested by NASA/JPL for 100 billion cycles and employed on the Mars Rover), PIHera piezo stages have unique properties especially important in long-term research and industrial applications.

Closed-Loop, Direct- Measuring Feedback Sensors
PIHera closed-loop stages are equipped with direct-metrology capacitive sensors and provide resolution down to the sub-nanometer-level, in a compact, FEA optimized package for high stiffness and long lifetime. Direct metrology provides higher stability and linearity compared to inferred metrology feedback – usually based on piezo resistive strain gauges, a technique also available from PI for entry level piezo nanopositioners.

Best in Class Design, Millisecond Step & Settle, Sub-Nanometer Precision
These ultra-precise piezo mechanic nanopositioning devices are a result of PI’s 40 years of experience with piezo flexure positioners, developed by the world’s most experienced nanopositioning design teams. PI flexure piezo stages can repeatedly provide nanometer and sub-nanometer size steps, and their high stiffness and advanced control algorithms allow them to move and settle quickly, within a few milliseconds. PI also offers high-speed models that settle quickly, within a few milliseconds. Flexure stages provide friction-free motion with excellent straightness and flatness data. Similar performance can only be achieved with air bearings and magnetic levitation guiding systems -- both technologies also offered by PI.

Many Control Options, Software Support
PI’s four decades of piezo design experience is also evident in the control options. Options span from compact, low-cost single-channel controllers to complex 12 channel high-output control systems, and from OEM boards to rack mount units.

A choice of advanced digital servo algorithms optimized for piezo drives provide higher throughput, faster settling, and higher disturbance rejection than conventional PID-based controllers, resulting in better stability at the nanometer range and below.

Multiple control interfaces such as TCP/IP, USB, SPI, and even high-bandwidth analog I/O is offered. Controllers come with ample software support, LabView drivers, and diagnosis tools for servo tuning, data recording, and remote access. Motion and control parameters are stored in an ID chip on the stage for seamless controller / piezo mechanics interchangeability and plug-and-play operation.

Application Examples
Micro-manufacturing, Photonics and Optics Alignment, Super-Resolution Microscopy, Semiconductor Test Equipment, Scanning Probe Microscopy, Biotechnology, Surface Metrology, Quality Assurance, Nanometrology, Interferometry, Nanopositioning

Features & Advantages

  • No Wear & Tear: Flexures, Actuators, and Sensors are Maintenance-Free
  • Longer Lifetime with Patented, Ceramic-Encapsulated Piezo Actuators
  • Frictionless, Maintenance-Free, Precision Flexure Guiding System
  • 50 to 1800 µm Travel Ranges
  • X, XY, Z, and XYZ Versions Available
  • Closed-Loop Digital & Analog Control for up to 99.98% Position Accuracy
  • Vacuum-Compatible Versions
  • Stiff and Compact Design for Millisecond Responsiveness
  • Resolution <1 nm
  • Capacitive Direct-Metrology Sensors for Faster Servo Response

About PI
PI is a leading manufacturer of precision motion control equipment, piezo motors, air bearing stages and hexapod parallel-kinematics for semiconductor applications, photonics, bio-nano-technology and medical engineering. PI has been developing and manufacturing standard & custom precision products with piezoceramic and electromagnetic drives for 4 decades. The company has been ISO 9001 certified since 1994 and provides innovative, high-quality solutions for OEM and research. PI is present worldwide with eight subsidiaries, R&D / engineering on 3 continents and total staff of 800+.

Source: PI (Physik Instrumente) LP