- ProductsProductsPI is a worldwide leading supplier of solutions in the fields of motion and positioning. PI does not only develop and produce a broad range of positioning stages and actuators for linear, rotary and vertical motion or combinations of different axes. PI also adapts those solutions to customer-specific applications or supplies finished subsystems for motion and positioning.
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- Nanopositioning Piezo Flexure StagesNanopositioning Piezo Flexure Stages
- Multi-Axis Piezo Flexure StagesMulti-Axis Piezo Flexure Stages
- PIFOC® Objective & PInano® Sample Scanners for MicroscopyPIFOC® Objective & PInano® Sample Scanners for Microscopy
- Linear Piezo Flexure StagesLinear Piezo Flexure Stages
- XY Piezo Flexure StagesXY Piezo Flexure Stages
- XYZ Piezo Flexure ScannersXYZ Piezo Flexure Scanners3-Axis Nanopositioning Scanners of Maximum Precision
- Piezo Flexure Tilting MirrorsPiezo Flexure Tilting Mirrors
- Multi-Axis Piezo Flexure Stages
- Miniature StagesMiniature Stages
- Miniature Linear StagesMiniature Linear Stages
- Miniature Rotation StagesMiniature Rotation Stages
- Miniature HexapodsMiniature Hexapods
- Miniature Linear Stages
- Linear StagesLinear Stages
- Stages with Magnetic Direct-Drive Linear MotorStages with Magnetic Direct-Drive Linear Motor
- Stages with Stepper, DC & Brushless DC (BLDC) MotorsStages with Stepper, DC & Brushless DC (BLDC) Motors
- Vertical Stages with Stepper, DC & Brushless DC (BLDC) MotorsVertical Stages with Stepper, DC & Brushless DC (BLDC) Motors
- Miniature Linear StagesMiniature Linear Stages
- Stages with Magnetic Direct-Drive Linear Motor
- Linear ActuatorsLinear Actuators
- PiezoMike for Long-Term StabilityPiezoMike for Long-Term Stability
- Linear Actuators with Stepper & DC Servo MotorsLinear Actuators with Stepper & DC Servo Motors
- Voice Coil Actuators with High Dynamics & Force Control OptionVoice Coil Actuators with High Dynamics & Force Control Option
- PiezoMove Lever ActuatorsPiezoMove Lever Actuators
- Nanopositioning Piezo ActuatorsNanopositioning Piezo Actuators
- PiezoWalk® Actuators with High Force & StabilityPiezoWalk® Actuators with High Force & Stability
- PIRest Active Piezo ShimsPIRest Active Piezo Shims
- PiezoMike for Long-Term Stability
- Rotation StagesRotation Stages
- XY StagesXY Stages
- Engineered Subsystems for AutomationEngineered Subsystems for Automation
- Fast Multi-Channel Photonics AlignmentFast Multi-Channel Photonics Alignment Systems
- Motion Control SoftwareMotion Control SoftwareAll digital controllers made by PI are accompanied by an extensive software package.
- User Programs and Their FunctionsUser Programs and Their Functions
- Software Tools for HexapodsSoftware Tools for Hexapods
- Third Party SupportThird Party Support
- Software Products for Special ApplicationsSoftware Products for Special Applications
- Controllers & DriversControllers & Drivers
- Nanopositioning Piezo ControllersNanopositioning Piezo Controllers
- Piezo Drivers for Open-Loop Operation of Piezo ActuatorsPiezo Drivers for Open-Loop Operation of Piezo Actuators
- Motion Controllers & Drivers for Linear, Torque, Stepper & DC Servo MotorsMotion Controllers & Drivers for Linear, Torque, Stepper & DC Servo Motors
- Controllers & Drivers for PiezomotorsControllers & Drivers for Piezomotors
- Controller Systems for Multiple Axes & Mixed Drive TypesController Systems for Multiple Axes & Mixed Drive Types
- Hexapod Motion ControllersHexapod Motion Controllers
- ACS Motion ControlACS Motion Control for Industrial Automation
- Nanopositioning Piezo Controllers
- Piezoelectric Transducers & ActuatorsPiezoelectric Transducers & Actuators
- Discs, Rods and CylindersPiezoceramic Discs, Rods & Cylinders
- Plates and BlocksPiezoceramic Plates & Blocks
- RingsPiezoceramic Rings
- TubesPiezoceramic Tubes
- Spheres and HemispheresPiezoceramic Spheres & Hemispheres
- Bending ElementsPiezoceramic Bending Elements
- Tube ActuatorsPiezo Tube Actuators
- PICMA® Piezo Linear ActuatorsPICMA® Piezo Linear Actuators
- PICMA® Piezo Bender ActuatorsPICMA® Piezo Bender Actuators
- PICA Piezoelectric Stack ActuatorsPICA Piezoelectric Stack Actuators
- PICA Shear ActuatorsPICA Shear Actuators
- DuraAct Patch TransducersDuraAct Patch Transducers
- Picoactuator® Piezoelectric CrystalPicoactuator® Piezoelectric Crystal
- Discs, Rods and Cylinders
- Air Bearings & StagesAir Bearings & Stages
- Sensors, Components & AccessoriesSensors, Components & Accessories
- VacuumProduct Series with Vacuum-Ready Items
- New Products
- About ACS Motion ControlACS Motion ControlACS Motion Control is an OEM-focused supplier of motion controller and drive solutions for high-tech systems in fields such as semiconductor manufacturing, laser processing, additive manufacturing, flat panel display manufacturing, electronic assembly, life sciences, and more. ACS joined the PI Group in January 2017.
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Know-How & Technology
- Hexapods Support Industrial RobotsHexapods Support Industrial Robots
- Scientific InstrumentationScientific Instrumentation
- Hexapod Systems for ALMAHexapod Systems for ALMA
- Double-Crystal MonochromatorDouble-Crystal Monochromator for an X-Ray Spectrometer
- Materials Research in High VacuumMaterials Research in High Vacuum
- Active Vibration Isolation with Piezo ActuatorsActive Vibration Isolation with Piezo Actuators
- Drive Technology for the ELTDrive Technology for the ELT
- Hexapod Systems for ALMA
- Semiconductor TechnologySemiconductor Technology
- Confocal MicroscopyAdjustment of the Focal Planes in Confocal Microscopy
- Positioning Solutions for Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy (TIRFM)Positioning Solutions for Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy (TIRFM)
- High-Speed MicroscopyHigh-Speed Microscopy for Quality Control
- Atomic Force MicroscopyAFM Scanner for Atomic Force Microscopy
- White Light Interferometry3-D Surface Inspection With Piezo-Based Positioning Systems from PI
- Flamingo Lightsheet Fluorescence MicroscopyFlamingo Lightsheet Fluorescence Microscopy
- IsoView Light Sheet MicroscopeIsoView Light Sheet Microscope
- Confocal Microscopy
- Silicon PhotonicsSilicon Photonics
- Photonics PackagingAutomated Photonics Packaging
- Optical Fiber AlignmentSimultaneous Testing of Optical Components in Silicon Photonics
- Photonics Packaging
- Medical TechnologyMedical Technology
- EndoscopyVariable Focusing and Sharp Focus for Endoscopic Applications
- Surgical Robots for OphthalmologySurgical Robots for Ophthalmology
- Magnetic Resonance ImagingNonsensitive Drives for Magnetic Resonance Tomography
- Optical Coherence TomographyPiezo Technology and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
- PipettingPiezomotors for Pipetting and Nanodispensing
- Precision DosingDynamic Drives for Precision Dosing with Nanodispensers
- MicropumpsPiezoelectric Micropumps – Compact Design and High Performance
- Image StabilizationImage Stabilization and Microscanning with Piezo Scanners
- Adaptive Diaphragm PositioningAdaptive Diaphragm Positioning
- Positioning Solutions for Whole Genome SequencingPositioning Solutions for Whole Genome Sequencing
- Materials ResearchMaterials Research
- Parallel Kinematics for Materials ResearchHigh-Load Parallel Kinematics for Materials Research
- Laser Beam ControlPiezo Drives for Laser Beam Control
- Parallel Kinematics for Materials Research
- Mechanical EngineeringMechanical Engineering
- Electrical Discharge MachiningPiezo Actuators Accelerate Electrical Discharge Machining
- Hexapods in Mechanical EngineeringHexapods in Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Discharge Machining
- Smarter Motion PositioningSmarter Motion Positioning
- Hexapods in MicroproductionHexapods in Microproduction
- Hexapods for Quality AssuranceHexapods for Quality Assurance
- Magnetic Direct DrivesMagnetic Direct Drives
- Motion Simulation with HexapodsMotion Simulation with Hexapods
- Flexibility in Dimensional MeasuringHexapod Systems in Automation
- Motion Compensation with HexapodsMotion Compensation with HexapodsDynamic hexapods with piezo drives: Best conditions for motion compensation.
- Fast Piezo Ultrasonic Drives Advance TechnologyFast Piezo Ultrasonic Drives Advance Technology
- Laser Material ProcessingLaser Material Processing
- Hexapods for Optical MetrologyHexapods Support Precise Measurement of Aspheres
- Smarter Motion Positioning
- Beamline InstrumentationBeamline Instrumentation
- Tomography EquipmentTomography Equipment
- Synchrotron Spectroscopy in VacuumSynchrotron Spectroscopy in Vacuum
- Beam PreparationBeam Preparation
- Sample Positioning for TomographySample Positioning for Tomography
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- Tomography Equipment
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- Active AlignmentActive Alignment
News & Events
- Piezo TechnologyPiezo Technology
- Fundamentals of Piezo TechnologyFundamentals of Piezo TechnologyPhysical basics and explanations of piezo electricity and electromechanics.
- Properties of Piezo ActuatorsProperties of Piezo Actuators
- Piezoceramic MaterialsPiezoceramic MaterialsPI Ceramic offers a variety of different piezoelectric materials including lead-free materials.
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- PIRest ActuatorsPIRest ActuatorsActive shims with long-term stability and nanometer resolution.
- Fundamentals of Piezo Technology
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- Piezo ActuatorsPiezo Actuators with and without Guiding
- PiezoWalk® Walking DrivesPiezoWalk® Walking Drives
- PILine® Ultrasonic PiezomotorsPILine® Ultrasonic Piezomotors
- Piezo Inertia DrivesPiezo Inertia Drives
- PiezoMike Linear ActuatorsPiezoMike Linear Actuators
- Comparison: Piezo Motors & Drive TechnologiesComparison: Piezo Motors & Drive Technologies
- Piezo Actuators
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- PIMag® 6-D Magnetic LevitationPIMag® 6-D Magnetic Levitation at Six Levels of Freedom
- Hybrid ConceptPiezo & Motor Hybrid Concept
- Rotating Electric Motors
- Parallel KinematicsParallel Kinematics
- Parallel KinematicsPiezo Positioning Systems with Parallel KinematicsIn a parallel-kinematic, multi-axis system, all actuators act directly on a single moving platform.
- Multi-Axis PositionersMulti-Axis Positioners and Stewart Platforms
- Hexapod as Motion SimulatorHexapod as Motion SimulatorMotion simulators have higher motion dynamics requirements (shakers).
- Parallel Kinematics
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- Capacitive SensorsCapacitance Nanosensors
- Incremental SensorsLinear Scale Encoders for Nanometrology & Nanopositioning
- PIOne Optical Nanometrology EncoderPIOne Optical Nanometrology Encoder
- Comparison: Position Sensor TechnologiesComparison: Nanopositioning Sensor Technologies
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- EtherCAT Connectivity of PI ProductsEtherCAT Connectivity of PI Products
- Control of Piezo ActuatorsPiezo Controllers & Drivers for Nanopositioning Systems
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- Classical Guiding SystemsComparison: Classical Guiding Systems and Force Transmission
- Flexure Guiding SystemsFlexure Guiding Systems for Nanopositioning & Piezo Actuators
- Magnetic BearingsMagnetic Levitation & Precision Bearings for NanopositioningMagnetic levitation allows excellent guiding accuracy in a plane, both linear and rotational.
- PIglide Air Bearing TechnologyPIglide Air Bearing TechnologyMulti-axis motion with nanometer precision and without friction.
- Classical Guiding Systems
- VacuumPositioning in High Vacuum (HV) and Ultrahigh Vacuum (UHV)
- GlossaryPI Glossary for Technical TermsFind useful explanations of technical terms in the PI Glossary.
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Piezo actuators are suitable for operation in very different, sometimes extreme ambient conditions. Information on their use at high temperatures of up to 200 °C and in cryogenic environments can be found in the section >> Temperature-Dependent Behavior.
According to Paschen's Law, the breakdown voltage of a gas depends on the product of the pressure p and the electrode gap s. Air has very good insulation values at atmospheric pressure and at very low pressures. The minimum breakdown voltage of 300 V corresponds to a ps product of 1000 Pa mm.
PICMA® stack actuators of nominal voltages of considerably less than 300 V can therefore be operated at any intermediate pressure. In order to prevent breakdowns, PICA piezo actuators with nominal voltages of more than 300 V, however, should not be operated or only be driven at strongly reduced voltages when air is in the pressure range of 100 to 50,000 Pa.
The outgassing behavior depends on the design and construction of the piezo actuators. PICMA® actuators are excellently suited for use in ultrahigh vacuums, since they can be manufactured without polymer components and can be baked out at up to 150 °C. UHV options with minimum outgassing rates are also offered for different PICA actuators.
Piezo actuators are suitable for use in inert gases such as helium, argon, or neon. However, the pressure-dependent flashover resistances of the Paschen curves must be observed here as well.
For this use, the ceramic-insulated PICMA® actuators are recommended, since their nominal voltage is below the minimum breakdown voltages of all inert gases. For PICA actuators of higher nominal voltages, the operating voltage should be decreased in particular pressure ranges to reduce the flashover risk.
Piezo actuators are excellently suited to be used in very high magnetic fields, e.g., even at cryogenic temperatures. PICMA® are manufactured completely without ferromagnetic materials.
PICA stack actuators are optionally available without ferromagnetic components. Residual magnetisms in the range of a few nanotesla have been measured in these products.
Environments with High Humidity
When piezo actuators are operated in dry environments, their lifetime is always higher than in high humidity. When the actuators are operated with high-frequency alternating voltages, they self-heat, thus keeping the local moisture very low.
Continuous operation at high DC voltages in a humid environment can damage piezo actuators. This especially holds true for the actuators of the PICA series, since their active electrodes are only protected by a polymer coating that can be penetrated by humidity.
The actuators of the PICMA® series have an all-ceramic insulation, which considerably improves their >> Lifetime in Humid Ambient Conditions compared with polymer-coated actuators.
Temperature Operating Range
The standard temperature operating range of glued actuators is -20 to 85 °C. Selecting piezo ceramics with high Curie temperatures and suitable adhesives can increase this range. Most PICMA® multilayer products are specified for the extended range of -40 to 150 °C.
With special solders, the temperature range can be increased so that special models of PICMA® actuators can be used between -271 °C and 200 °C, i.e., over a range of almost 500 K.
For use in liquids, encapsulated PICMA® or specially encased PICA actuators are available. With all other actuator types, direct contact with liquids should be avoided. Highly insulating liquids can be exceptions to this rule. Normally, however, the compatibility of the actuators with these liquids must be checked in lifetime tests.