Home > Press > High-Dynamics Solid State Linear Motor Actuator for Continuous Laser (Grating) & Spectrophotometer Tuning
A novel miniature linear motor actuator based on the Piezo Walk principle with a highly dynamic sweep mode combines long travel ranges to 20 mm and speeds to 10 mm/sec with sub-nanometer resolution and sub-millisecond response to enable continuous tuning and wavelength sweeps of lasers and monochromators.
High-Dynamics Solid State Linear Motor Actuator for Continuous Laser (Grating) & Spectrophotometer Tuning
Auburn, MA | Posted on October 25th, 2007
Precision Actuators: Key Components in Tunable Lasers & Spectrophotometers
Many of today's tunable lasers rely on the performance of a micropositioning or nanopositioning actuator to position a diffraction grating with extreme precision and repeatability. While the virtually unlimited resolution and extremely fast response of piezo stack actuators is very desirable in these applications, their limited travel (typically <100 µm) is often a K.O. criterion. To overcome the limited range, DC-motorized micrometers and stepper-motor-driven leadscrew actuators have been employed by laser manufacturers in the past.
However, these systems cannot provide the ultra-smooth piezo-class motion required for wavelength sweeps. Their precision is also affected by friction and backlash of the mechanical drive screw and their limited dynamic performance leaves laser designers wanting.
Novel Ceramic Linear Drive Overcomes Limitations of Classical Actuators
A novel, ultra-compact linear drive based on the PiezoWalk® principle has been developed by PI to overcome the limitations of conventional linear actuators. The system, dubbed NEXACT®, combines virtually unlimited travel ranges with high stiffness and bandwidth in a very small package. Furthermore, NEXACT® actuators provide piezo-class resolution (far below one nanometer) and millisecond response. The special drive design works with a very low operating voltage of 40 V and below.
PiezoWalk® Principle: High Bandwidth & Resolution, Sweep Mode, No Friction or Drift
In operation, piezoceramic bending elements act on the ceramic runner, which is connected to the moving part of the application. The length of the runner determines the travel range. Force capacity, resolution and velocity are determined by the piezo geometry and drive electronics, and are scalable. To move the runner over longer distances the stepping mode is used, whereas for smaller distances, the linear sweep mode offers up to 7 microns of high-dynamics positioning with resolutions far below one nanometer and bandwidth in the kHz range. Because the principle is not based on sliding friction (as with ultrasonic or inertial motors) there is virtually no particulate generation. The NEXACT® drive principle offers very high repeatability and can hold a stable position to nanometers even when powered down.
Another advantage is the autolocking feature with virtually no heat dissipation at rest, a great improvement over stepper motors, thus eliminating laser drift. The ceramic actuators require no lubricants, so the NEXACT® drive principle is high-vacuum compatible, as well as being and non-magnetic. Because linear motion is generated in the first place, backlash, friction and wear as caused by conventional rotating tip actuators are not an issue here.
A compact benchtop controller with high-level command interface and comprehensive software driver package and OEM PCB versions are available to drive the actuators.
In summary, the NEXCACT® drive is the ideal precision linear actuator for OEMs. It provides extremely high dynamics, resolution and stability. Its miniature size (only 25x25x12 mm) along with easy control and long lifetime (no wear) allow seamless integration into the final product.
About PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P.
PI is a leading manufacturer of nanopositioning and precision motion-control equipment for photonics, nanotechnology, semiconductor and life science applications. PI has been developing and manufacturing standard & custom precision products with piezoelectric and electromagnetic drives for 35+ years. 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 and total staff of 450+.
For more information, please click here
PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P.
USA East Coast Contact
Tel: (508) 832-3456
Fax: (508) 832-0506
USA West Coast Contact
Tel: (949) 679-9191
Fax: (949) 679-9292
Germany: +49 (721) 4846-0
Italy: +39 (02) 665 011 01
France: +33 (1) 481 039 30
UK: +44 (1582) 764 334
Japan: +81 (6) 6304 5605
China +86 (21) 687 900 08
Dir. Corp. Product Marketing & Communications
PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P.
16 Albert St.
Auburn, MA 01501
Copyright © PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P.
If you have a comment, please Contact
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
Stanford team achieves 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode - Engineers use carbon nanospheres to protect lithium from the reactive and expansive problems that have restricted its use as an anode July 27th, 2014
Iranian Scientists Produce Reusable Nanoadsorbent to Detect Sulfamide in Chicken July 27th, 2014
Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials July 25th, 2014
Scientists Test Nanoparticle "Alarm Clock" to Awaken Immune Systems Put to Sleep by Cancer July 25th, 2014
Malvern Instruments completes acquisition of MicroCal and announces purchase of Archimedes product from Affinity Biosensors July 25th, 2014
Hysitron is Awarded TWO R&D 100 Awards for Highly Innovative Technology Developments in the Areas of Extreme Environments and Biological Mechanical Property Testing July 23rd, 2014
The Hiden EQP Plasma Diagnostic with on-board MCA July 22nd, 2014
Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 22nd, 2014
NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014
Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014
Tiny laser sensor heightens bomb detection sensitivity July 19th, 2014
Future Electronics May Depend on Lasers, Not Quartz July 17th, 2014