AUBURN, Mass., June 30, 2010 — The F-206.S six-axis hexapod alignment system from PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. is a precision positioning system that provides 6-D motion with 33-nm resolution and an extensive alignment software package for optics and photonics components.
It includes an advanced parallel kinematics controller/driver that features vectorized motion and arbitrary pivot point capability. The parallel-kinematics design with a virtual pivot point and vector-based 6-D motion-controller are what differentiate the system from conventional stacked multiaxis positioners, and they minimize crosstalk.
Due to the reduced moving mass (only one common lightweight platform for all six actuators), the system can respond and settle quickly, and the company says that it is more compact and accurate than conventional multiaxis stage stacks (serial kinematics).
It is suitable for use in complex, high-accuracy positioning and nanoalignment tasks where independent, high-precision motion in six degrees of freedom is required. Because hexapod motion is not determined by fixed bearings but by real-time, six-space control algorithms, the virtual pivot point can be chosen freely with a single software command, a prerequisite for fast and accurate alignment tasks.
The system is supplied with control and alignment software, LabView drivers, dynamic link libraries and many programming examples. When equipped with an optional high-speed photometer card, it aligns arrays, waveguides and collimators up to 10 times faster than conventional multiaxis positioning stages, according to the company. It features low inertia and no moving cables for reduced friction, improved reliability and easy integration.
Applications include precision positioning, alignment and testing of optics, photonics and microelectromechanical systems components; nanolithography, micromanipulation and microsurgery.
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