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46 BIOTECHNOLOGY


“PI offers a large selection of appropriate positioning and handling systems based on different piezoelectric working principles.”


Fig. 3. The PipeJet technology uses piezo-driven direct displacement for dosing. Image: Biofluidix


Steffen Arnold, Head of Marketing and Products, Physik Instrumente GmbH & Co KG


Fig. 4. The lamellae are readjusted individually by compact drives in order to predetermine a certain shape and eliminate undesired peripheral effects of the illumination and/or radiation.


Image: PI


based drive systems such as clutch or gearhead to the benefit of costs and reliability. Tey are lightweight and suitable for travel speeds up to about 500mm/s, their accuracy is in the range of approximately 50nm.


Since they are offered in various steps of integration, they are easy to adapt to the application on hand.


Piezo-based inertia drives are considered to be particularly


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compact and inexpensive micro- drives. Tey utilise the stick-slip effect for fine steps with step heights of less than a micrometre.


A piezoelectric actuator expands and takes along a mobile rod. In the second part of the motion cycle, the actuator contracts so rapidly that it slides along the moved part, which cannot follow this motion due its inertia, and thus remains in the same position.


Te electric control is easy and similar to a saw-tooth voltage. Te drives are small, which opens up many application areas.


Typical applications for this drive principle range from soldering tip positioning to shutter adjustments in micromanipulation.


High forces and a high resolution are achieved when piezoelectric inertia drives are used to move


screws, which allows the automation of alignment tasks in inaccessible places. Depending on the design, they are operated at a frequency of 20kHz, which means that they cannot be heard, and reach velocities of up to 10mm/s.


For more information ✔ at www.scientistlive.com/eurolab Steffen Arnold is head of Marketing and


Products, Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co KG, Karlsruhe, Germany. www.pi.ws


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