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.
New Method Presented for Production of Alpha SiAlON Single Phase Nanopowder December 10th, 2013
CWRU engineering researchers report nanoscale energy-efficient switching devices at IEDM 2013 December 9th, 2013
Scientists scale terahertz peaks in nanotubes: Rice U. researchers find plasmonic root of terahertz signals in some carbon nanotubes December 9th, 2013
Squeezing transistors really hard generates energy savings December 9th, 2013
Leica SR GSD 3D Super-Resolution Microscope Voted Among Top 10 Innovations 2013 for Laboratories and Research: The Scientist Magazine Chooses Super-Resolution Microscope from Leica Microsystems as one of the Year's Best Innovations for the Second Time December 9th, 2013
Silvija Gradečak seeks to better the world through new materials December 6th, 2013
Agilent Technologies Introduces Next-Generation Atomic Force Microscope December 3rd, 2013
Agilent Technologies’ Award-Winning, Ultrafast Express Test Now Compatible with All G200 Stages and DCM II, XP Heads December 3rd, 2013
Optical Quality Improvement of Electrical Circuits’ Electrode Zinc Oxide Nanowires December 7th, 2013
Quantum effects help cells capture light, but the details are obscure: Ultrashort laser pulses reveal that 'coherence' plays a subtle role in energy transfers December 6th, 2013
Laser light at useful wavelengths from semiconductor nanowires: Nanowire lasers could work with silicon chips, optical fibers, even living cells December 5th, 2013
When aluminum outshines gold: Two Rice University studies detail aluminum’s valuable plasmonic properties December 2nd, 2013