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Piezoelectric Inertia Actuators


  • 20 nm Typical Step Size
  • 2.5 kg Maximum Axial Load Capacity and Up to 30 N Axial Preload
  • 10 mm, 13 mm, 25 mm, or 50 mm Travel Range

PIA13

13 mm Travel Range

PIA50

50 mm Travel Range

Application Idea

Two PIAK10 Inertia Actuators Being Used
in Place of the 1/4"-80 Adjustment Screws
in our KM100 Mirror Mount 

PIA25

25 mm Travel Range 

Related Items


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Key Specificationsa
Item # PIAK10 PIA13 PIA25 PIA50
Travel 10 mm 13 mm 25 mm 50 mm
Typical Step Sizeb 20 nm
Maximum Step Sizec <30 nm
Step Size Adjustabilityd ≤30%
Maximum Step Frequencye 2000 Hz
Maximum Axial Preloadf 30 N 25 N
Recommended Maximum
Axial Load Capacityg
2.5 kg (5.51 lbs)
Velocity
2 mm/min (Typical)
<3.5 mm/min (Maximum)
Drive Screw 1/4"-80 Thread, Hard PVD Coated
Motor Type Piezoelectric Inertia
Barrel
Mounting
Options
Threaded 1/4"-80 3/8"-40
Smooth Ø3/8" (Ø9.5 mm)
Required Controller KIM101
  • See the Specs tab for complete specifications.
  • This value can vary over 20% due to component variance, change of direction, and application condition.
  • This can be adjusted up to 30% in both directions using the KIM101 Controller.
  • This can be adjusted using the KIM101 Controller.
  • Using the KIM101 Inertia Piezo Controller
  • The axial force applied to the drive tip to achieve the specified step size. A minimum of 5 N is recommended to enhance stepping behavior.
  • A higher maximum load is possible but it may adversely affect the typical step size.
Inertia Motor
Click for Details

The Control Cable Can be Adjusted up to 110° for Space-Constrained Applications
Inertia Motor
Click to Enlarge

Simplified Illustration Showing the Operation of an Inertia Piezo Actuator

Piezoelectric Inertia "Slip-Stick" Motor

A piezo stack mounted perpendicular to the lead screw axis actuates the screw via a design based on the system's inertia and coefficients of friction. Two decoupled arms, or jaws, are located on either side of the piezo. These arms then extend around the top and bottom of the main lead screw. This is illustrated in the diagram to the left.

The piezo reacts to a custom sawtooth voltage waveform, causing it to expand or contract. The waveform is asymmetric, slowly ramping up to the specified voltage and then quickly dropping the voltage to zero on a nanosecond timescale. As shown in the bottom illustration to the left, the jaws will "stick" to the lead screw during the slow voltage ramp, similar to how a person would turn a screw with their thumb and forefinger. The nanosecond voltage drop will cause the arms to "slip" due to the screws' inertia and the different coefficients of friction, and return the arms to their original position. The "slip-stick" nature of this device uses very short pulse widths and continuous stepping of the actuator will result in an audible noise at a typical level of 60 to 70 dB. This mechanism allows a single piezo element to translate a lead screw along its entire length.

Due to a number of factors that include the application condition, piezo hysteresis, component variance, and the axial load, the achieved step size will vary and is not repeatable. To help overcome this variance, an external feedback system will need to be used. Alternatively, a stepper motor actuator can also be substituted depending on the application.

Features

  • Compact Design, 31.5 mm x 17.0 mm (W x H)
  • Piezo Inertia Actuators Offer 20 nm Typical Step Size
  • Manual Adjustment via Rear-Located Thumbscrew
  • 125 V Maximum Operating Voltage
  • 1/4"-80 Mounting Thread (PIAK10) for Compatibility with Mirror Mounts
  • 3/8" Mounting Block (PIAK10, PIA13, PIA25, and PIA50) for Compatibility with Translation Stages
  • Versions with 10 mm, 13 mm, 25 mm, or 50 mm of Travel
  • Ideal for Set-and-Hold Applications that Require Relative Positioning with High Resolutions
  • Control Cable can be Adjusted up to 110° for Space-Constrained Applications

Thorlabs' Piezoelectric Inertia Actuators provide high-resolution linear motion control with long piezo-controlled translation ranges in a compact package. Each actuator can support loads up to 2.5 kg (5.51 lbs) and preloads up to 30 N with typical movements of 20 nm and no backlash. The step size can be adjusted up to 30% to a maximum of approximately 30 nm using the KIM101 Controller. However, due to the open-loop design, hysteresis, and application conditions, the achieved step size of the system can vary over 20%. An external feedback system will need to be used to overcome this variance.

The actuator is self-locking when at rest and when there is no power supplied to the piezo, making these actuators ideal for set-and-hold applications that require nanometer resolution and long-term alignment stability. Manual adjustments can be made at any time, as long as the piezo is not actively translating the screw, by using the rear-located thumbscrew or with a 5/64" (2 mm) hex key.

Powered by a 10 mm (0.39") long discrete piezo stack, these actuators operate at speeds of up to 3.5 mm/min. The design of the piezo motor, detailed below, will rotate the tip of the lead screw during translation. As shown in the image above, the control cable for each actuator can be rotated up to 110° for space-constrained applications.

Mounting Options
Each actuator contains a Ø3/8" (Ø9.5 mm) barrel that can be mounted in any manual stage that has a Ø3/8" (Ø9.5 mm) mounting clamp. In addition, the PIAK10 contains a second barrel that has a 1/4"-80 thread for compatibility with a 1/4"-80 threaded mirror mount, while the other three actuators have a 3/8"-40 thread at the end of the Ø3/8" (Ø9.5 mm) barrel.

Required Controller
The KIM101 Controller, available below, is required to operate our Piezo Inertia Actuators; these actuators cannot be operated using a standard piezo controller. The controller contains four channels that can be operated individually or in pairs, making the controller ideal for applications that require multiple motorized axes, such as beam steering. The driver has an internal sawtooth voltage signal generator capable of sending sub-millisecond pulses (steps) with controllable amplitudes from 85 V to 125 V. Each actuator has a 1.0 m cable included; 1.5 m SMC extension cables (item # PAA101) and male-to-male SMC adapters (item # T5026) are also available. Please note that, due to the capacitance of the cables, the overall length of the control cables should not exceed 2.5 m.

Item # PIAK10 PIA13 PIA25 PIA50
Travel 10 mm 13 mm 25 mm 50 mm
Typical Step Sizea 20 nm
Maximum Step Sizeb <30 nm
Step Size Adjustabilityc ≤30%
Maximum Step Frequencyd 2000 Hz
Backlash None
Maximum Active Axial Preloade 30 N 25 N
Typical Angular Resolutionf Ø1" Mirror Mounts: 0.5 μrad
Ø2" Mirror Mounts: 0.3 μrad
N/A
Recommended Maximum
Active Axial Load Capacityg
2.5 kg (5.51 lbs)
Velocity (Continuous Stepping) 2 mm/min (Typical)
<3.5 mm/min (Maximum)
Drive Screw 1/4"-80 Thread, Hard PVD Coated
Actuator Tip Tungsten Carbide Ball
Lifetime >1 Billion Steps
Motor Type Piezoelectric Inertia
Piezo Specifications
Voltage Rating 130 V
Capacitance 175 nF
Resonant Frequency 125 kHz (No Load)
Physical Specifications
Dimensionsh (L x W x H) 2.87" x 1.24" x 0.67”
(72.9 mm x 31.5 mm x 17.0 mm)
2.34" x 1.24" x 0.67”
(59.5 mm x 31.5 mm x 17.0 mm)
2.81" x 1.24" x 0.67”
(71.4 mm x 31.5 mm x 17.0 mm)
3.80" x 1.24" x 0.67”
(96.6 mm x 31.5 mm x 17.0 mm)
Mounting Options 1/4"-80 Threaded Barrel 3/8"-40 Threaded Barrel
Ø3/8" (Ø9.5 mm) Barrel Ø3/8" (Ø9.5 mm) Barrel
Operating Temperature 10 to 40 °C (50 to 104 °F)
Cable Length 1.0 m (3.28')
Cable Exit Adjustability ±55° (Left- or Right-Hand Exit)
Connector SMC, Female
Compatible Controller KIM101
  • This value can vary over 20% due to component variance, change of direction, and application condition.
  • This can be adjusted up to 30% using the KIM101 Controller and APT Software.
  • This can be adjusted using the KIM101 Controller and APT Software.
  • Using the KIM101 Inertia Piezo Controller
  • The axial force applied to the drive tip to achieve the specified step size. A minimum of 5 N is recommended to enhance stepping behavior.
  • The typical angular resolution when a PIAK10 Actuator is fitted to a Ø1" or Ø2" mirror mount with a maximum active preload of 30 N. This does not apply to the PIA13, PIA25, or PIA50 actuators.
  • A higher maximum load is possible but it may adversly affect the typical step size.
  • Dimensions do not include the cable.

Posted Comments:
Georgy Onishchukov  (posted 2019-05-23 14:27:00.387)
can PIA13 be used with KCB1P/M?
AManickavasagam  (posted 2019-05-24 11:41:09.0)
Response from Arunthathi at Thorlabs: Thanks for your query. Due to incompatible threading the PIA13 cannot be used with KCB1P/M. However, the PIA13 is compatible to use with KM100 or the KS1 if you are after beam steering application or aiming to use a parabolic mirror. We also have mounts with integrated Piezo inertia actuator such as the PIM1.
pprie  (posted 2018-08-20 10:16:39.317)
HI, i'am currently using PIAK10 with the KIM101 controler and the KM100 Mirror Mount. I have some question : First, if i move from 0 step to 128 steps for example, what will be the angular variation ? Second, I will probably need a closed-loop system, what device should i use with this current setup or which device should i replace ? Thanks
AManickavasagam  (posted 2018-08-21 04:40:14.0)
Response from Arunthathi at Thorlabs: Thanks for your query. The variance i.e the quoted per step tolerance is 20%, hence through the 128 steps this adds up and the angular variation would be ± 12.8 μrad Regarding the closed loop option you could consider to use an external encoder as unfortunately, at this time we do not have a solution that we could offer for such a system.
hnguyen43  (posted 2018-05-22 10:15:43.89)
What is the angular step for this actuator? Is the Thanks
rmiron  (posted 2018-05-24 05:08:09.0)
Response from Radu at Thorlabs: The drive screw of these actuators typically rotates by ~ 0.4 mrad per step. Naturally, as is the case for the linear motion, this angular step can vary by about 20% and can be adjusted by 30% in both directions by KIM101.
antoine.camper  (posted 2017-09-10 23:18:58.51)
I have a PIA3 and a KM100 mount like on the picture illustrating the use of the PIA13. However if I mount it as on the picture, the motor starts rotating on itself instead of the screw pushing on the mirror mount when I actuate the motor. This is because the motor is not tight to other part of the mount. Am I doing something wrong? Please give me a feedback.
awebber-date  (posted 2017-09-13 04:35:33.0)
Response from Alex at Thorlabs: I will get back to you directly to troubleshoot your issue.
nicolas.blind  (posted 2016-02-24 10:47:38.087)
I have two questions: - Are the motors PIA13 compatible with the 3-axis platform RBL13D ? - If yes, on the vertical axis, could they lift a mass of maximum 1kg ? Would it affect the positioning accuracy/repeatability? Thanks a lot
besembeson  (posted 2016-03-03 10:30:20.0)
Response from Bweh at Thorlabs USA: Yes it is compatible, and the accuracy/repeatability will not be affected provided the load specifications are respected. Maximum axial load for the PIA13 is 2.5kg. It will be less than this in a vertical configuration. We will contact you with this value.
user  (posted 2016-02-12 19:52:40.913)
Can you comment on the noise that these actuators generate. We use similar actuators in our lab right now and they have a high pitch sound which is very annoying. Did you fix this issue?
bwood  (posted 2016-02-15 06:13:30.0)
Response from Ben at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback. These actuators will generate noise at a typical level of 60 to 70 dB. The noise generated by a given piezo inertial motor is intrinsic to the "slip-stick" mechanism of the device, due to the short pulse widths required. Please review the green box under the "Overview" tab for more information on the mechanism of these devices
user  (posted 2016-01-08 17:04:24.817)
is the piezo expanding or contracting during the ramping up of the voltage?
msoulby  (posted 2016-01-08 07:06:38.0)
Response from Mike at Thorlabs: The piezo reacts to a sawtooth voltage waveform, causing it to expand or contract. The waveform is asymmetric, slowly ramping up (expanding) to the specified voltage and then quickly dropping the voltage to zero (contracting) on a nanosecond timescale. When a slow electrical signal is applied the jaws will grip the lead screw and turn the lead screw due to high static friction. When the voltage is quickly dropped back to zero the piezo will contract rapidly, due to the inertia of the lead screw and low dynamic friction the lead screw will remain stationary. This process is repeated many times which will result in the lead screw moving in one direction in discrete steps. To reverse the direction of the lead screw the asymmetric signal is reversed.

Piezoelectric Inertia Actuators

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
PIAK10 Support Documentation
PIAK10Piezo Inertia Actuator, 10 mm Travel, Mounting: 1/4"-80 Thread and 3/8" Barrel
$550.80
Today
PIA13 Support Documentation
PIA13Piezo Inertia Actuator, 13 mm Travel, Mounting: 3/8"-40 Thread and 3/8" Barrel
$550.80
Today
PIA25 Support Documentation
PIA25Piezo Inertia Actuator, 25 mm Travel, Mounting: 3/8"-40 Thread and 3/8" Barrel
$550.80
Today
PIA50 Support Documentation
PIA50Piezo Inertia Actuator, 50 mm Travel, Mounting: 3/8"-40 Thread and 3/8" Barrel
$550.80
Today

K-Cube™ Four-Channel Piezo Inertia Actuator Controller

  • Compact Footprint (121.0 mm x 60.0 mm x 47.0 mm)
  • Adjustable Voltage Output from 85 V to 125 V
  • Four Independent Output Channels
  • Capable of Single- or Dual-Channel Operation
  • Standalone Operation via Top Panel Controls and Display or PC Control via USB Plug and Play

This K-Cube Controller is a compact, four-channel controller for easy manual and PC control of our piezoelectric inertia actuators. It is capable of single- or dual-channel operation and has an adjustable voltage output from 85 V to 125 V. The top panel display screen enables operation as soon as the unit is turned on, without the need for connection to a PC. Alternatively, USB connectivity provides easy 'Plug-and-Play' PC-controlled operation with two available software platforms: our new Kinesis® software package or our legacy APT™ (Advanced Positioning Technology) software package. The controller can be configured to operate up to four piezo inertia actuators or up to four PD1(/M) stages. One controller cannot be used to concurrently drive actuators and stages.

The unit has a very small 121.0 mm x 60.0 mm x 47.0 mm (4.76" x 2.36" x 1.85") footprint and may be mounted directly to the optical table using the 1/4" (M6) counterbored slots in the base plate. This compact size allows the controller to be positioned close to the motorized system for added convenience when manually adjusting motor positions using the top panel controls. Tabletop operation also allows minimal drive cable lengths for easier cable management.

For more information, please see the full web presentation.

Power Supply Options
The preferred power supply for the KIM101 controller depends on the end user's application and whether you already own compatible power supplies. To that end and in keeping with Thorlabs' green initiative, we do not ship these units bundled with a power supply. This avoids the cost and inconvenience of receiving an unwanted single channel supply if a multi-channel or hub-based system would be more appropriate. The power supply options compatible with the KIM101 Piezo Inertia Controller are listed in the section below.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
KIM101 Support Documentation
KIM101K-Cube Inertial Motor Controller (Power Supply Sold Separately)
$1,058.78
Today

Compatible Power Supplies

photo of power supply adapters
Click for Details

A location-specific adapter is shipped with the power supply unit based on your location. The adapters for the KPS101 are shown here.
photo of power supply options
Click to Enlarge

The KPS101 Power Supply Unit
  • Individual Power Supply
    • KPS101: For K-Cubes™ or T-Cubes™ with 3.5 mm Jacks
  • USB Controller Hubs Provide Power and Communications
    • KCH301: For up to Three K-Cubes or T-Cubes
    • KCH601: For up to Six K-Cubes or T-Cubes

The KPS101 power supply outputs +15 VDC at up to 2.4 A and can power a single K-Cube or T-Cube with a 3.5 mm jack. It plugs into a standard wall outlet.

The KCH301 and KCH601 USB Controller Hubs each consist of two parts: the hub, which can support up to three (KCH301) or six (KCH601) K-Cubes or T-Cubes, and a power supply that plugs into a standard wall outlet. The hub draws a maximum current of 10 A; please verify that the cubes being used do not require a total current of more than 10 A. In addition, the hub provides USB connectivity to any docked K-Cube or T-Cube through a single USB connection.

For more information on the USB Controller Hubs, see the full web presentation.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
KPS101 Support Documentation
KPS10115 V, 2.4 A Power Supply Unit with 3.5 mm Jack Connector for One K- or T-Cube
$35.36
5-8 Days
KCH301 Support Documentation
KCH301USB Controller Hub and Power Supply for Three K-Cubes or T-Cubes
$524.83
Today
KCH601 Support Documentation
KCH601USB Controller Hub and Power Supply for Six K-Cubes or T-Cubes
$635.20
Today
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