Digital motion controller now also available for low-cost piezo systems

PI improves the positioning accuracy by up to one order of magnitude

(PresseBox) (Karlsruhe, ) The E-709 singlechannel piezo controller from Physik Instrumente (PI) now opens up the digital technology and its advantages to lowercost systems in the accuracy class from one to 10 nanometers. It will initially support the strain gauge sensors (metal foil or piezoresistive) which are used in lowercost piezo systems. The requirements placed on these systems mean that components with a wellbalanced priceperformance ratio are used in the E-709. The D/A conversion is 16 bit, the 32 bit processor with 150 MHz clockpulse rate allows a servo rate of 10 kHz. The amplifier provides 5 W continuous power, for the dynamic operation of conventional nanopositioning systems such as the P-721 PIFOC® objective scanner, for example.

The digital controller operates with linearization algorithms which improve the accuracy of the piezo system by a factor of 10 from around 0.2% to 0.02%. The E-709 can be supplied with commands via USB and RS-232 interfaces and uses software to set the motion and control parameters and program the digital I/Os.

Its compatibility with software platforms such as LabView, µManager, MATLAB or Metamorph and its programmability via DLLs are important for microscopy applications, where the E-709 can operate singleaxis piezo systems such as the P-721 objective positioner or the P-736 and P-737 sample scanners.

Digital piezo controllers have so far been limited to highend applications: Servo rates of up to 25 kHz in almost real time require fast data processing and high processor performance. Subnanometer resolution makes data conversion with up to 24 bit an essential requirement and so digital servo controllers are often more expensive than their analog counterparts.

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