Improved Nano-Focus Device Provides More Detail Faster - New Product

Lambda Photometrics introduce the Physik Instrumente P-721.CLQ PIFOC® Nano-Focus Device for applications such as scanning microscopy, cell tracking and surface profiling.

The new P-721.CLQ is based on the successful PIFOC® series of high-speed, piezo-driven, objective nanopositioners. The units can be mounted between the turret and objective of any microscope for fast and accurate focus control. A number of improvements facilitate integration and increase performance.

P-721.CLQs are equipped with direct-measuring, two-plate capacitive position sensors. Unlike conventional systems, they measure the position of the moving part, rather than the strain of the flexures or actuator. This technique, combined with the inherent precision of the non-contact capacitive sensor and the temperature compensated design, results in higher linearity scans, superior responsiveness, resolution, repeatability and stability at the nanometer scale. The result is better image fidelity.

PIFOCs feature long-base, frictionless, FEA-modelled flexures for exceptional guiding precision. The benefit is that lateral motion of the focal point is eliminated when the objective is scanned. Unwanted lateral motion found in conventional focusing systems causes the acquired images to blur.

The new QuickLock system allows mounting the unit to the turret in a matter of seconds. A variety of thread inserts are available to adapt the units to any microscope or objective.

Features & Advantages

  • Sub-nanometre resolution & stability, important for detecting smaller feature sizes
  • Integrated direct-measuring, two-electrode capacitive displacement sensor provides higher performance than any other position sensor
  • Very cost-effective
  • Optional vibration-suppressing signal processor achieves faster settling and higher throughput
  • High-speed digital controllers with advanced features such as auto-linearisation improve linearity in high-speed scanning applications
  • Compatible with Universal Imaging Corporation™ Software

A large variety of high-speed, digital and analog, low-noise, closed-loop controllers (bench-top, rackmount and OEM modules) are available to suit any need or budget. A new digital controller provides automatic tracking-error suppression for even higher scanning linearity.

Posted December 2003

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