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PI Physik Instrumente
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  • Offer Profile
  • PI stands for peak technical performance and is considered a global market and technology leader in the field of precision positioning technology with accuracies down to nanometers. It is our aim to further extend our pioneering role to the world market and we have exactly what it takes. PI offers a technological spectrum and a vertical production range that are beyond competition worldwide. However, our most important concern is to continually inspire our customers with advanced positioning solutions.
Product Portfolio
  • Applications & Markets

  • Maximum positioning accuracy is now obligatory in many application areas. Semiconductor manufacturing, microscopy, surface measurement technology, biotechnology, medical engineering and automation technology often require positioning systems with resolutions and repeatability in the nanometer range. Add to this the requirements for short response times, vacuum-compatible design and function over a wide temperature range.
      • Scientific Instrumentation

      • The term "scientific instrumentation" covers a variety of different applications, starting with microscopy via beamline processes through to the wide field of laboratory automation. They all have one thing in common: Precise and mainly piezo-based positioning systems have proven their value under extremely varying conditions of use. Parallel-kinematic systems are the system of choice for multi-axial solutions. Even payloads weighing tons can be positioned with micrometer precision with their help.
      • Semiconductor Technology

      • Lithographic processes are the reason why chips are getting smaller and smaller and why extremely fine structures can be realized on silicon wafers. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) allows surface measurement at highest resolution up to the atomic level, so enabling entirely new inspection methods in the manufacturing of semiconductors. Piezo drives have made these technical advances possible with their performance and reliability.
      • Microscopy and Imaging Processes

      • Imaging processes increase efficiency across a number of fields, ranging from medical engineering to pharmaceutical research and manufacturing of semiconductors. Familiar methods from optical metrology such as interferometry or microscopy are often applied to automated processes. Ultrasonic and magnetic resonance techniques are ideal for a variety of visualization tasks. They all require fast and precise drive systems, which depending on the application, must often also be as compact as possible or operate reliably even in strong magnetic fields. Piezoelectric drives, scanners and positioning systems are a safe bet here.
      • Photonics Packaging

      • Silicon photonics allows data rates to the magnitude of Tbit/s, is therefore predestined for all computer-supported services which require the highest possible transmission rates. The placement of optical components on silicon semiconductors and the creation of the optical connections can be automated in practice.
      • Medical Technology

      • Progress in pharmaceutical research, diagnostics and therapy requires high-performance, precise positioning systems, e. g. for control of laser beams in ophthalmology, three-dimensional imaging of endoscopes as well as for new, also three-dimensional, lithographic processes which allow simulation of even the smallest cell structures. Next to high positioning precision, requirements for the drives often include compact dimensions, low energy consumption, speed and high reliability.
      • Materials Research, Processing and Surface Measuring Technology

      • Efficiency has become an important buzzword these days. Materials research has paid a major contribution as the results have, for example, optimized processing methods. Nanometer-precise examination of surfaces have also added a valuable contribution. Methods such as X-rays and lasers or white light interferometry demand precise positioning of the specimens to be examined and of optics or beam control.
      • Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing Technology

      • Mechanical engineering and manufacturing technology require fast, reliable and energy-saving drive components. Progress often goes hand in hand with increasing miniaturization. The employed drives and positioning solutions are as different as the applications. The spectrum ranges from piezo actuators to six-axis parallel kinematics which can communicate directly with CNC controls.
      • Automation

      • Piezo drives, magnetic direct drives and Hexapods are part and parcel of automation today. They operate precisely and reliably and have proven themselves under rugged conditions. In particular in terms of wear and dynamics, magnetic direct drives, which include voice coil actuators and linear drives, offer advantages compared to common spindle-based technologies. Hexapods enable precise positioning at six levels of freedom and can be controlled using field bus interfaces.
    • Piezo Positioning Systems

    • Nanotechnology is already part of everyday life. The use of high-precision positioning systems in biotechnology, microscopy or semiconductor technology allows resolution of very fine structures in production and inspection. This allows production of more and more powerful integrated electronic components and investigation of new diagnostic and therapeutic methods in life sciences.
        • Single-Axis Piezo Linear Stages

        • Nanopositioning Systems Featuring Travel Ranges to 1.5 mm
          • Excellent precision
          • For dynamic applications
          • PICMA® piezo actuators for maximum reliability
          • Optional capacitive position sensors for positioning accuracy and stability in the nanometer range
          • Frictionless and zero-backlash flexure guides
        • Piezo-Z Stages

        • Focus Motors for Interferometry, Image Stabilization and Microscopy
          • Frictionless and zero-backlash flexure guides
          • PICMA® piezo actuators for maximum reliability
          • Fast settling times in the ms range
          • Optional capacitive position sensors for positioning accuracy and stability in the nanometer range
        • Piezo Scanning Stages for 2 to 6 Axes

        • Reference-Class Piezo Systems
          • PICMA® piezo actuators for maximum reliability
          • Frictionless and zero-backlash flexure guides
          • Short response and settling times in the millisecond range
          • Optional capacitive position sensors of maximum linearity
          • Optional parallel kinematics for high dynamics in all motion axes
          • Optional parallel metrology for active error compensation
        • Fast Tip/Tilt Piezo Mirrors

        • Active Optics
          • Two orthogonal, parallel-kinematic tip/tilt axes featuring a common pivot point
          • Optional linear axis for adjustment of the optical path length
          • Compact design
          • Operating frequencies from 100 Hz to >1 kHz
          • PICMA® piezo actuators for maximum reliability
          • Optional strain gauge sensors for high accuracy
          • Frictionless and zero-backlash flexure guides
        • Digital and Analog Piezo Controllers

        • For Piezo Nanopositioning Stage
          • Position control for capacitive sensors and strain measurement sensors (DMS and PRS)
          • Digital controller with linearization algorithms, parameter settings using software and notch filter for suppression of oscillation
          • Digital controller with ID-chip detection for automatic calibration of the controller on piezo positioning stages
          • Analog controller with real-time signal processing and optional digital interface
        • Capacitive and Incremental Piezo Sensors

        • Nanometrology in Piezo Nanopositioning Systems
          • Non-contact distance measurement
          • For applications with maximum precision requirements
          • Direct position measurement compensates for mechanical deviation: Direct metrology
      • Piezoceramic Actuators and Motors

      • The PI Group develops and manufactures high-quality piezoceramic materials as well as actuator or sensor piezo components. Together with high-precision sensor systems and mechanical design, piezo actuators form the basis for piezomotor technology.
          • Piezo Elements and Components

          • Piezoelectric Components in Different Shapes
            Piezoelemente und piezoelektrische Komponenten Piezoceramic components, such as plates, disks or rings, convert mechanical signals, such as force, pressure, strain or acceleration, into electrical voltage, or, vice versa, an electrical voltage into mechanical motion or oscillations. The typical resonant frequencies are between 200 kHz and 10 MHz. The piezo elements are frequently used for generating ultrasonic oscillations, for example, in sensors or for high-power ultrasonic applications.
          • Integrated Piezo Actuators

          • Sub-Millisecond Response Time and Sub-Nanometer Resolution
            • Case with mechanical adapters for electrical insulation, simple integration and for protecting the actuator from ambient conditions
            • Mechanical preload allows dynamic operation
            • Flexure guides for straight motion
            • Mechanical lever amplification integrated into the flexure guide for large travel ranges
            • SGS sensors for repeatabilities down to a few nanometers
          • Piezomotors

          • Easy Mechanical Integration, Compact Design
            • Self-locking when at rest: No holding currents, no heating at stop, no energy consumption and no control jitter
            • Vacuum-compatible and nonmagnetic operating principle
            • Integration levels, ranging from the low-cost OEM drive to precision positioning stages and 6-axis parallel kinematics
        • Motorized Positioning Systems for Large Travel Ranges

        • PI positioning systems are available with a number of different drive variants, from stepper motors to piezoceramic ultrasonic motors. All models offer resolution in the sub-micrometer range, hybrid stages up to 2 nanometers. Maximum velocities up to 400 mm/s are possible.
            • Precision Linear Positioning Stages

            • Travel Ranges From a Few Millimeters to 1 m
              • Large selection of positioning stages for different accuracies, loads or sizes
              • Many motorization variants: Stepper motors, DC motors, brushless motors, magnetic direct drives
              • Piezomotors replace electric motors in miniature stages
              • Optional efficient ActiveDrive drive concept for high performances
            • Motorized XY Stages

            • For Sample Positioning in Microscopy or Industrial Production
              • Loads of up to >100 kg
              • Many motorization variants: Stepper motors, DC motors, brushless motors, magnetic direct drives
              • Piezomotors replace electric motors in microscope stages
              • Optional direct position measurement with linear encoder at resolutions down to <1 nm
            • Precision Rotation Stages

            • Unlimited Rotation Range with Noncontact Reference Point Switch
              • Loads of up to >100 kg
              • Many motorization variants: Stepper motors, DC motors or brushless motors
              • Versions with piezomotors for particularly compact sizes
              • Versions with magnetic direct drives for high dynamics
              • Optional air bearing for travel accuracies in the submicrometer range
              • Optional direct position measurement with linear encoder at resolutions down to <1 µrad
            • Motorized Precision Linear Actuators

            • Manipulators with DC Motors, Stepper Motors or Piezomotors
              • Forces of up to 500 N
              • Depending on model, with laterally guided rod
              • Equipped with stepper motors (Stepper Mike) or DC motors (DC Mike)
              • Depending on model, with rotating or nonrotating rod
              • Different connection versions for the load
            • Motion Controller for Motor Control

            • For DC Motors, Stepper Motors and Piezomotors
              • P-I-D servo control, parameter change on-the-fly
              • User-friendly PIMikroMove user software
              • Data recorder, extensive software support, for example for LabVIEW, dynamic libraries for Windows or Linux
              • Digital interfaces such as
              • RS-232, USB or Ethernet
              • (depending on model type)
          • Hexapods and SpaceFAB

          • 6-axis micro- and nanopositioning systems in different parallel-kinematic designs for electronics production, tool control or medical technology. Depending on design, their microrobots can position loads of up to 1000 kg accurately to the nearest micrometer without any problems.
              • Hexapod Platforms and Systems

              • Parallel-Kinematic Machines of Six Motion Axes
                • Three linear axes, three rotational axes
                • Low moving net mass, low inertia
                • Identical dynamic behavior in all axes
                • High stiffness and small space requirement
                • Freely definable pivot point
                • Minimized axis crosstalk, very good repeatability
                • Application-optimized selection of drives
              • PIMag® Magnetic Direct Drives

              • Positioning Systems with High Dynamics and Precision
                • Relative motion of coil and magnetic field
                • Electromechanical conversion of current into force
                • Bidirectional force generation
                • High dynamics
                • Force proportional to current and magnetic field
                • Wide range of design options
              • PILine® Ultrasonic Piezomotors

              • Small, High-Speed and Cost-Efficient
                • Silent operation through control frequencies in the ultrasonic range
                • Cost-efficient drive principle: One actuator, one control phase
                • Easy mechanical integration, compact design
                • Self-locking at rest: No holding currents, no heating at stop, no energy consumption and no control jitter
                • Holding force up to 15 N
                  Velocity to 500 mm/s
                  Resolution to 1 nm
              • PiezoWalk® Stepping Drives

              • Inertia Driven Systems for Piezo Stages and Piezo Actuators
                • Low-cost drive principle: One actuator, one control phase
                • Easy mechanical integration, compact design
                • Self-locking when at rest: No holding currents, no heating at stop, no energy consumption and no control jitter
                • Holding force to 10 N,
                  velocity to 10 mm/s,
                  resolution to <1 nm

                With PiezoWalk® stepping drives, piezo actuators work in pairs as clamping and feed elements on a moving runner. Cyclical control induces a stepping motion of the actuators on the runner, and the runner is moved forwards and backwards.