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Thorlabs Deploys Manufacturing Infrastructure to Expand Piezo Chip/Stack Line

Newton, NJ – September 13, 2016 – Thorlabs has expanded its piezoelectric line to include new types of piezoelectric actuators, low-voltage piezoelectric chips, and discrete stacks with through holes, enabling a higher level of flexibility when integrating the actuators into other devices. These chips are ideal for laser tuning, micro-dispensing, and life-science applications.

The chips can be manufactured with or without pre-attached wires, with holes ranging from Ø2.0 mm to Ø6.0 mm, cross sections ranging from 5.0 mm × 5.0 mm to 10.0 mm × 10.0 mm, and thicknesses under 5.0 mm. Stacks are available in lengths from 5 mm to 100 mm, providing free stroke displacements up to 100 µm. Our in-house manufacturing facility can also be deployed to provide custom dimensions, voltage ranges, and coatings upon request. Leveraging our high-volume production capacity allows us to fulfill high-volume quantity requests with short lead times.

The piezoelectric chips are driven under a maximum voltage of 150 V, providing maximum free stroke displacements from 1.8 µm to 3.0 µm with sub-millisecond response time. Through a precision grinding process, the accuracy of the design height is ensured to better than ±5 µm. The high accuracy makes it significantly easier to design devices around our piezoelectric chips, as it allows the users to have a loose tolerance when choosing their other components, and helps guarantee a better parallelism when employing multiple chips between two substrates.

“Reliability and durability of multilayer piezoelectric actuators are becoming increasingly important as the piezo application fields expand,” commented Cary Zhang, Piezo Product Line Manager. “Thorlabs’ multilayer piezo actuators are based on modified PZT-5H ceramics, which are sintered at low temperatures (<1000 °C) to possess improved characteristics such as low electrical capacity, large displacement, and high stiffness.”

Besides the newly released piezo chips/stacks, Thorlabs manufactures a wide range of high quality piezo actuators, including chips, stacks, tubes, shear piezo and bimorphs. Modular, screw, and replaceable-tip piezo actuators, including single axis, multi-axis, closed-loop and open-loop actuators are also available. For more information on the entire product offering, please see the complete product presentation at


About Thorlabs: Thorlabs, a vertically integrated photonics products manufacturer, was founded in 1989 to serve the laser and electro-optics research market. As that market has spawned a multitude of technical innovations, Thorlabs has extended its core competencies in an effort to play an ever increasing role serving the Photonics Industry at the research end, as well as the industrial, life science, medical, and defense segments. The organization’s highly integrated and diverse manufacturing assets include semiconductor fabrication of laser diodes, optical amplifiers, lithium niobate modulators, quantum cacscade/interband cascade lasers, and VCSEL lasers; fiber towers for drawing both silica and fluoride glass optical fibers; MBE/MOCVD epitaxial wafer growth reactors; extensive glass and metal fabrication facilities; advanced thin film deposition capabilities; and optomechanical and optoelectronic shops.