Nanopositioners, Piezo Stage Positioners,
Flexure Positioners, Piezo Scanners

Piezo stages provide advantages when it comes to very smooth motion with nanometer and subnanometer resolution. They are also superior to other drive technologies in terms of step & settle performance, and fast scanning. Millisecond and even microsecond range response is feasible with a well-designed piezo flexure stage. Piezo stages work well in vacuum and can be manufactured in non-magnetic versions due to the non-magnetic nature of the ceramic drive material. PI is a world leader in piezo stage design with 4 decades of experience. PI's piezo drives have been life tested for 100 billion cycles by JPL/NASA for the Mars Mission.

In addition to classical piezo flexure stages, PI also offers piezo motor driven positioners with long travel ranges to 100's of millimeters. A variety of different piezo motor principles are used, depending on the main focus, such as speed, force, resolution and cost. Select an example below and click on the image for further details.

Product Examples

Microscope Stages / Z-Motors

Multiaxis Piezo Stages

Z-Piezo Stages / Actuators

Compact X / XY / XYZ Systems

Single Axis Piezo Stages

Piezo Stage with Aperture

6-Axis Piezo Stages

Mini Piezo Motor Stages

Piezo Motor Linear Piezo Stages

Scanning Stages w/ Voice Coil Drive

NEXLINE® / NEXACT® Piezo Motor Linear Actuators

Hybrid Piezo Stages: Piezo+DC Servo

Open-Frame XY Piezo-Motor Stage

Piezo Tip/Tilt Mirrors

Piezo Stack Actuators

PCI-Board Piezo Controllers

1-Channel Piezo Controllers

Digital Piezo Controllers





High-Dynamics Precision Positioners / Motion Control - Introduction

Piezo Stage PDF Catalog    Flexure NanoPositioners Overview

PI designs and manufactures the fastest and highest precision piezo positiong stages in the world. PI Piezo Positioners provide higher dynamics, faster response and higher resolution, accuracy, straightness and flatnes compared to classical motor-stage positioning systems.
High Dynamics NanoPositioners

Click here for NanoPositioner Selection Guide

PI offers the largest variety of custom and standard ultra-low inertia NanoPositioning Solutions. 

Ultra-Low-Inertia NanoPositioning Systems, Ultra-High Precision Position Sensors

Ultra-low-inertia solid-state piezo positioners can repeatedly move bidirectional nanometer level steps, at up to hundreds of Hz if required. 

Two plate capacitive position sensors ensure highest linearity and longterm stability. 
These absolute-measuring, non-contact  sensors detect motion at sub-nanometer levels directly (direct output metrology) and provide accuracy, linearity, resolution, stability and bandwidth superior to strain gauge type sensors (piezo resistive sensors), LVDT sensors and incremental encoders (glass scale type encoders).  If used in parallel-kinematics multi-axis systems, they can also provide the information for automatic runout-compensation.

Minimized recoil forces are a by-product of the ultra-low-inertia approach.  Classical Micropositioning stages, even when equipped with high-resolution encoders cannot achieve this precision.  Their high inertia, friction, and servo dither prevent fast motion at the nanometer level.

Click here for more information on PI Capacitive Position Sensors 

Trajectory Control

Active Trajectory Control.

Active Trajectory Control is available on single-module parallel-metrology nanopositioning systems. It can improve straightness and flatness to sub-nanometer precision. Digital controllers with advanced coordinate transformation algorithms allow active trajectory control for up to 6 DoF. 



Dynamic Digital Linearization

Preshaping algorithms and dynamic digital linearization can increase the dynamic linearity and effective bandwidth of high-speed nanopositioning systems by up to 3 orders of magnitude. This translates into higher dynamic accuracy, and increased throughput. 

Applications range from out-of-round machining (pistons, contact lenses, optics) to scanning microscopy.

Flexure Technology

Flexures, if designed properly, are very stiff & robust, light weight, maintenance free, and provide nanometer to sub-nanometer-level guiding precision (simple designs induce cosine runout errors). They are vacuum compatible and frictionless and require neither lubricants nor air films. 

Not all flexures are created equal!
PI multi-axis NanoPositioning systems are based on FEA calculated wire-EDM-cut parallel-kinematics flexure designs

Serial vs. Parallel Kinematics
A) Stacking two single-axis stages (serial kinematics) Simple design but:
  • Slower response (lower stage carries inertial mass of upper stage);
  • Non-symmetric dynamic behavior (lower stage is slower than upper stage, requires different servo settings).
  • Orthogonality error is mounting-angle dependant.

  • Active Trajectory control not possible
B) Single-module (monolithic) but nested (serial) X and Y.
Thinner and better response than A) but no other advantages
C) Single-module parallel-kinematics X and Y (with crosstalk compensation).
Best solution. 
  • Same ultra-low inertia for X and Y motion, providing higher responsiveness and axis-independent performance. 
  • Excellent, mounting independent orthogonality. 
  • Parallel-Metrology "sees" controlled degrees of freedom. Active Trajectory Control automatically compensates for runout.  

  • Additional rotation axis (Theta z ) feasible with 3 actuators / sensors and digital controller.

Piezo Nano Positioning Stage Overview

*Models Axes *Travel [µm] *Feedback Notes
Objective Nano-Focus Positioners
Long Travel Piezo Positioner for Microscope Objectives Z 100, 250, 400 capacitive NEW: Extra long range, very compact & light weight
Piezo Positioner for Microscope Objectives Z 100 capacitive NEW: Microscope objective positioner.
Now with QuickLock
Compact Piezo Positioner for Microscope Objectives Z 100 capacitive, LVDT Microscope objective positioner
P-722, P-723
Piezo Microscope Objective Z-Stepper
Z 200, 350 LVDT Microscope objective positioner
Open Loop Linear Piezo Positioners (1-Axis Stages)
P-280 Piezo Stage Positioner X 30, 50, 100 no Low cost, XY and XYZ combinations
P-290 Piezo Z-Vertical Positioner Z 1000 no Large travel range
P-287 Z & Tilt Piezo Positioner Z, θx 700, 12 mrad no Large travel range
Closed Loop, Linear Piezo Positioners, (1-Axis Stages with Direct Metrology Sensors)
Direct metrology measures the position of the moving platform rather than strain in the actuator (as is common with lower-precision piezo resistive strain gauge sensors).
The direct measuring principle provides better linearity scans with superior responsiveness, resolution, repeatability and stability to the sub-nanometer range.
Nanopositioning basics: more than just nanometers
P-783 Piezo Vertical Piezo Positioner Z 300 LVDT Large travel range, closed-loop, compact
P-772 Miniature Piezo Positioner Nanopositioning Stage X 10 capacitive Ultra-compact, fast and accurate, smallest closed-loop stage with capacitive position feedback
P-780 Miniature Piezo Positioner Stage X 80 LVDT Compact, fast, for small loads
P-750 Piezo Positioner Stage X 75 capacitive, LVDT Extremely straight motion, very stiff
P-752 Piezo Positioner Stage X 15, 30 capacitive Extremely fast and accurate, for FBG writing and disk drive test set ups
P-753 Piezo Stage and Linear Actuator Combination Z & X 12, 25, 38 capacitive Very small and accurate, works as both stage and linear actuator
P-620 Family of Piezo Positoners /Scanning Stages X (XY, Z) 50 to 1800 capacitive Low Cost, Precise, Compact, Long Travel.
Also in XY, Z and XYZ
Multi Axis, Serial Kinematics Stages
*Models Axes *Travel [µm] *Feedback Notes
P-282 XY, XYZ Piezo Stages
XY, XYZ 30, 50, 100 no Low cost, compact
P-611 NanoCube XYZ Piezo Stage Positioner XYZ 100 SGS Smallest XYZ closed-loop stage
P-620 - P-625 X, XY, Z, XYZ PIHera Multi-Axis Piezo Stage X, XY, Z, XYZ 50,100,250, 500 capacitive NEW: Very Compact, Long Travel, Low Cost, Very Precise. Direct Metrology
Multi-Axis, Parallel Metrology, Parallel Kinematics Stages
Parallel metrology can "see" all controlled degrees of freedom simultaneously.
These stages provide superior trajectory control to serial kinematics stages.
Nanopositioning stage basics tutorial
P-615 NanoCube™ 350C XYZ Piezo NanoAligner XYZ to 350 capacitive NEW: Aperture. Ideal also for photonic alignment.
P-363 PicoCube™ XYZ, XY Piezo Scanner for AFM, SPM XY, XYZ 6 capacitive NEW: Extremely high resolution, compact, ideal for Nanotech and Biotech.
P-733 XY Piezo Nano- Scanning Stage XY 100x100 capacitive NEW: Standard Vacuum Version. Fast and accurate XY positioner, clear aperture
P-733.DD Direct Drive XY, XYZ Piezo Positioning Scanning Stage XY, XYZ 30x30 (x10) capacitive NEW: 20 mm flat. Extremely fast, 2 kHz Fres, Direct Drive, UH-Vacuum available.
P-734 XY Piezo Stage XY 100 capacitive Fast and accurate XY positioner, clear aperture, extremely straight and flat motion
P-770 XY Piezo Stage XY 200 LVDT 200 X 200 mm clear aperture
P-517, P-527 Series XY, XYZ, XYθz Piezo Nano-Scanning Stages XY, XYZ, XYθz Up to 200 in XYZ, 2 mrad capacitive Clear aperture, active trajectory control, special version with 6 degrees of freedom
P-561 Series XY, XYZ, High-Speed, Direct Drive Microscopy Piezo Stages XY, XYZ 45 XY, 11 Z capacitive NEW: Direct Drive, Ultra-Fast, Clear aperture, active trajectory control
P-562 MARS Series XY, XYZ, Piezo Nano-Scanning Stages XY, XYZ 200x200x200 capacitive NEW: Long Range, High Speed, Clear aperture, active trajectory control
P-518, P-528 Series Z, Zθxθy Z, Zθxθy Up to 200 in Z, 2 mrad tip/tilt capacitive Clear aperture, active trajectory control, special version with 6 degrees of freedom
"Piezo Hexapod" 6DOF Parallel-Kinematic Stages
P-587 6D-Piezo Stage XYZ, θxθyθz 800 / 10 mrad capacitive Sophisticated 6-axis closed-loop stage
*Custom dimensions, sensors, designs for volume buyers. Capacitive sensors and LVDT sensors are direct metrology sensors and provide the highest precision.

For piezo steering mirrors, tip/tilt positioners see the "Piezo Active Optics" section.

Piezo Actuators (Nano-Transducers) Overview

Piezo Actuators (PZT) are ultra-high-resolution Nano-Transducers for a variety of applications from Nanotechnology to Aerospace and Biotech. PI offers the largest selection of research and industrial-reliability Piezo Actuators and Translators (linear actuators) worldwide. In addition to the hundreds of models presented in this catalog, we manufacture custom designs tailored to customers' requirements. PI is highly vertically integrated, controlling each manufacturing step from piezo raw materials to finished systems.
*Models Push/Pull
Force Capacity [N]
Standard Travel Ranges [µm] *Closed-Loop Versions/Sensor Notes
Piezo Actuators
1000/5 9, 15 no NEW: Ceramic insulated stacks worldwide first
Piezoelectric Actuator
0.1/0.1 4, 6, 8 no Tube actuator
Piezoelectric Actuator
1/1 +-250, 450, 1000 no Bender actuator, small dimensions
Piezoelectric Actuator
10/5 50 no Disk translator (flat, large travel range)
Piezoelectric Actuator
20/10 100, 200 no Disk translator (flat, large travel range)
Piezoelectric Actuator
50/1 15, 30, 45 no Very small, ferromagnetic end pieces
Piezoelectric Actuator
150/3 5, 10 no Very small, w/o case
Piezoelectric Actuator
50/10 15, 30, 45 no Smallest preloaded translator
Piezoelectric Actuator
100/5 20 no Mounts in micrometer tip
Piezoelectric Actuator
100/1; 1000/5 2.3 no Ultra-compact, no case
Piezoelectric Actuator
1000/5 15, 30, 45, 60 no Small, ferromagnetic end pieces
Piezoelectric Actuator
500/20 5, 10, 20, 40 Yes/strain gauge Clear aperture (tubular stack)
Piezoelectric Actuator
800/40 5, 10, 20, 40 Yes/strain gauge Clear aperture (tubular stack)
Piezoelectric Actuator
1000/50 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 Yes/strain gauge Preloaded
Piezoelectric Actuator
800/300 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 Yes/strain gauge Preloaded
Piezoelectric Actuator
2000/50 5, 10, 20, 40, 80 Yes/strain gauge Choice of top and bottom pieces
Piezoelectric Actuator
2000/300 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, 120 Yes/strain gauge Preloaded
Piezoelectric Actuator
3000/700 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 Yes/strain gauge Preloaded, Water-resistant option
Piezoelectric Actuator
4500/500 5, 10, 20, 40, 60, 100, 140, 180 Yes/strain gauge (stack translator) Preloaded, largest travel range
Piezoelectric Actuator
12500/2000 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, 120 Yes/strain gauge Preloaded, very stiff, water-resistant option
Piezoelectric Actuator
30000/3500 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, 120 Yes/strain gauge Preloaded, very stiff, water-resistant option
*Custom dimensions, sensors, designs for volume buyers