New microscopy methods, such as two-photon microscopy, make it possible to record 3D stacks with up to 1 mm depth in biological samples. For this they require high-performance drives for positioning the objectives, this is what the N-725 PIFOC® from PI delivers.
PI (Physik Instrumente) have developed the new N-725 PIFOC® objective scanner with piezo stepping drives especially for positioning microscopy objectives. The N-725 provides travel ranges of up to 2 mm along the optical axis. At the same time the technology allows rapid positioning:
The new focusing system achieves settling times of around 20 milliseconds for 3 μm steps. It has an extremely compact design and is no larger than conventional, piezo-based PIFOC® objective stages.
The focal plane can easily be changed with a single mechanical system thanks to the combination of high resolution and long travel ranges. Therefore, there is often no need for a combined Z-positioning of the objective, e.g. with stepper motor and additional piezo stages.
Piezo Stepping Drive – the Multi-Functional Piezo Linear Motor
The NEXACT® piezo stepping drive advantageously combines the best characteristics of piezomotor principles in a compact unit: High resolution, high force and high speed. The feed motion is achieved solely via the nanometer-accurate motion of clamped piezo actuators – wear-free, high resolution and with controllable speed.
In stepping mode, high positional resolution and high drive force can be achieved over the full travel range. Additionally, the high stiffness allows fast oscillations of 7 micrometer amplitude and resolutions to 30 pm (analog operation, open-loop).
At the target position, the drive is self-locking, requires no current and consequently generates no heat. The position is stable in the nanometer range so there is no jitter about the target position.
Already well-known and respected for their high-quality products, PI is one of the leading players in the international market for precision positioning technology in the fields of photonics, nanotechnology, semiconductor and life sciences. The company has been developing and
manufacturing standard and OEM products with Piezo or motor drives for over 40 years. With headquarters in Karlsruhe, Germany, four factories and ten subsidiaries employing more than 700 people globally, the PI group has a presence in every major market worldwide. The
company has been ISO 9001 certified since 1994.