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Date: 03/2007
PI News: E-536 / P-363 New Ultra-High Resolution Positioning and Scanning System for AFM, Nanoscopic Imaging, Nanomanipulation; E536 / P363 AFM Scanner

E-536 / P-363—New Ultra-High Resolution Positioning and Scanning System for Nanoscopic Imaging

The new ultra-low noise E-536 driver / controller, together with the P-363 PicoCube®, provide significantly higher resolution and positional stability than previous multi-axis scanning systems.

The E-536 can be controlled with analog or digital signals and comes with extensive sofware support. In addition, for several D/A boards from National Instruments PI offers a corresponding LabVIEW™ driver set which is compatible with the PI General Command Set (GCS), the command set used by all PI controllers. A further option includes the patented Hyperbit™ technology providing enhanced system resolution.

PicoCube® systems were designed to overcome the limitations of open-loop piezo-tube based scanners in nanoscopic imaging. Piezo-tubes provide high resolution motion but poor linearity and trajectory guidance. The compact PicoCube® is based on exceptionally robust, high-stiffness piezo drives rather than tubes and employs non-contact, direct-measuring, parallel-metrology capacitive sensors for position feedback. The low-inertia drives allow for a resonant frequency of 10 kHz, important for high speed scanning applications.

A major advantage of the single-module parallel-kinematics design is that there are no moving cables and no cable management issues to be resolved when integrating the unit. This design increases reliability, enhances responsiveness and also increases repeatability and accuracy at the nanometer level, because the friction and force exerted by a moving cable are eliminated.

E-536/P-363 System Features

  • High-Speed XYZ Scanner for AFM / SPM & Manipulation Tool for Nanotechnology
  • Custom, High-Stiffness Shear Piezo Drives Provide up to 10 kHz Resonant Frequency for Faster Response and Higher Scanning Performance
  • Ultra-Low-Noise Controller Enables 25 Picometers (0.025 nm) Resolution
  • Capacitive Feedback for Exceptional Precision and Linearity
  • Parallel Metrology for Better Multi-Axis Accuracy
  • Small & Rugged Design with Titanium Case
  • Vacuum Compatible Stages Available

>> More Information on E-536 PicoCube® Piezo Controller
>> More Information on P-363 PicoCube®
>> PDF, E-536 PicoCube® Piezo Controller
>> PDF, P-363 PicoCube®

>> Piezo Nanopositioning Stage Overview
>> Piezo Controller Overview

E-536 Piezo Controller and P-363 PicoCube scanning stage
The E-536 controller shown with a P-363 PicoCube® scanning stage. This system provides 25 picometers resolution and very fast response

Positional noise measurement of E-536 amplifier driving a P-363 pico-positioning system in open loop shows 1-sigma resolution of 25 picometers (0.025 nm). Measured with ultra-high-resolution capacitive sensor


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PI is a leading manufacturer of nanopositioning, linear actuatorsand 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 40 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 500+.