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PI News: Piezo-Z Objective Nanostepping Drive Systems for Fast 3D Microscopy are Easily Integrated Mar 6, 2008

A series of high-speed microscopy objective Z-scanner systems for 3-D microscopy applications provides 10 to 20 times faster settling than conventional stepper z-motors.

PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P., a leading manufacturer of nanopositioning and precision motion-control equipment for life science, photonics and semiconductor applications, offers a series of high-speed microscopy objective scanner systems for 3-D microscopy applications.

Systems Contain Driver, Mechanics & all Adapters
PIFOC® piezo Z-drives systems are designed for easy integration into high-resolution microscopes. They are available as components or as complete systems including the piezo objective scanner, a controller and two distance cases.

Z-stack Image Acquisition: How it Works
The PIFOC® units are ideal for high speed Z-stack image acquisition, the basis for the generation of 3-D views of samples in high-resolution, optical microscopes. Conventional Z-drives use a motorized actuator and motor controller to create numerous focus planes during focusing. The individual “slices” are then processed with special software to form one 3-D image. PIFOC® systems are compatible with all major image acquisition packages.

Faster with Piezo
Piezo-actuated Z-drives, achieve significantly higher focusing speed (typically 10 msec vs. 200 msec) and resolution (typically 1 nm vs. 100 nm) than stepper motor-drives and thus provide higher-quality images in less time.

Scanning the Objective
The compact, light and stiff objective scanner design provides very fast response and does not disturb the sample which can be a problem with specimen scanners.

Application Examples
3D imaging, autofocusing, scanning and alignment tasks in microscopy, biotechnology, optics, semiconductor technology and photonic packaging.

Features & Advantages

  • Available as Individual Components or Complete Systems
  • Systems Include: Mechanics, Controller, Adapters, Distance Cases
  • Choice of Travel Ranges: 100 µm or 400 µm
    Choice of Controllers: Display Controller or Compact Controller
  • Custom Tuning for Higher Speed (to 7 msec per Step)
  • Compatible w/ all Major Image Acquisition Packages
  • Capacitive Feedback as used in NIST Reference Class Nanometrology Systems
  • UL and CSA Certified Controller

    More on PIFOC(r) Ojbective Scanners