Actuators deliver high forces, long travel and high resolution

PI (Physik Instrumente) Ltdvisit website


PI is introducing the innovative N-380 and N-381 NEXACT ceramic linear motor actuators at the 2009 Photonics West conference in San Jose, CA. The new actuators are based on the Piezo Walk principle and replace classical lead screw actuators, combining high forces and long travels with sub-nanometre resolution in a small package.

Features include:

  • 1kg Push/pull force, 30mm travel, 10mm/s speed
  • Self-locking, stiff design
  • Convenient half-inch front mount or clamp mount
  • Stepping mode and sweep mode, millisecond response and high bandwidth
  • Non-magnetic and vacuum-compatible options

Typical applications are:

  • Micromanipulation and nanomanipulation
  • Nanotechnology
  • Microscopy and optics
  • Nano-imprint
  • Laser tuning
  • Semiconductor test and production equipment
  • Bio-technology
  • Medical technology

Nexact actuators provide piezo-class resolution (far below one nanometre) and millisecond responsiveness. In contrast to conventional piezo actuators, the new stepping technology allows virtually unlimited travel ranges while retaining the high stiffness, all in a very small package. The special drive design reduces the operating voltage to 40V or less, with minimal power consumption.

In contrast to DC servo or stepper motor actuators, the piezo walk drive effects linear motion directly, without the need to transform rotation with gears and lead screws. Backlash and wear are eliminated and the drive is maintenance-free. Nexact actuators exhibit high stiffness and are self-locking when powered down with nanometre position stability, and they exhibit zero heat dissipation and servo-dither at rest.

In operation, piezoceramic bending elements act on the ceramic runner, connected to the moving tip of the actuator. For long-distance motion, the stepping mode is used. For smaller distances and for ultra-high dynamic motion, the analogue (sweep) mode can be employed.

USB, RS-232 or a joystick can be used to control the actuator. The controller comes with a variety of software drivers and programming examples.

N-380 series piezo walk actuators are closely related to PI's award-winning Nexline linear actuator family, the Nexact actuators' big brothers.

Follow the link for datasheets and more information.

20 January 2009

PI (Physik Instrumente) Ltdvisit website
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