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Applications and Markets
Overview

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

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.

PI Double Stage
 
  • Positioning solution for computer laminography
  • Parallel-kinematics for in-situ measurement of material properties
  • Drives for electronic microscopes
  • Autofocus functions for microscopy
  • Focus stabilization during long-term imaging
  • Vibration Isolation

Semiconductor Technology

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

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.

Imaging
  • Nanopositioning systems in fluorescence microscopy
  • Fast piezo-based scanners for micro-stepping

Photonics Packaging

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.

PI System Integration
 

Medical Technology

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.

PI Ophthalmology web

Materials Research

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.

PI Development
  • Drive solutions with nanometer precision for white light interferometry
  • Piezos for surface examination (structural health monitoring)
  • Precise scanning for nano-indentation

Mechanical Engineering

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.

PI Rotating Platform For Heavy-Duty Hexapods

Automation

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.