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Picomotor Actuator, Vacuum Compatible, Closed-Loop, 12.7 mm Travel

Standard version also available.


  • Travel Range
    12.7 mm
  • Minimum Incremental Motion
    <30 nm
  • Maximum Speed
    1.2 mm/min
  • Axial Load Capacity
    22 N
  • Mounting
    9.5 mm Shank
  • Bi-directional Repeatability, Guaranteed
    ±1 µm
  • Frequency
    2 kHz
  • Drive Torque
    0.018 Nm
  • Environment
  • Closed Loop Resolution
    63.5 nm
  • Vacuum Compatibility
    10-6 Torr
  • Vacuum Wire Material
  • Wire Length
    483 mm
  • Cable Length
    1.8 m
  • Connector Type
    Two 15-pin D-Sub
  • Operating Temperature
    10 to 40° C


Closed Loop Positioning

Choose between operating the Closed-Loop Picomotor actuator in closed-loop mode where it can hold a set position, or command it to move a specified distance. You can also choose between position or velocity profiled movement. Either way, when the actuator reaches its target location, the controller will adjust the motor to the precise requested encoder count and then stop motion. Even if you keep the servo loop enabled, the motor will only move in response to any system disturbances which cause rotation of the screw. Because the inherent resolution of the motor is finer than the resolution of the encoder, zero-count encoder error is always achieved. You can query the encoder to determine the rotation of the screw at any time.

<30 nm Positioning Resolution

Operating in open-loop mode, the Closed-Loop Picomotor actuator has a step size of < 30 nm, allowing for very small movements. In closed-loop mode, the encoder has a resolution of 63.5 nm, allowing for very small, controlled, and repeatable movements.

Easy-to-use Flexible Motion Controllers and Drivers

Our Closed-Loop Picomotor controllers and drivers are modular. You can daisy-chain up to 31 drivers together with two channels each, so you can have a network of up to 62 Closed-Loop Picomotor actuators. You have two interface options with the controller system: hand pad or computer, both providing plug-and-play use.

Patented Picomotor Technology

Picomotor actuators rely on the basic difference between dynamic and static friction. An example of this is the magician's "tablecloth trick," in which a quick pull (low dynamic friction) of the cloth leaves the dishes on the table, while a slow pull (high static friction) would pull the dishes off the table and cause a big mess! Our Picomotor actuator uses the same principle with a threaded jaw, similar to two halves of a split nut, clamped around a precision 80-pitch screw. One jaw is connected to one end of a piezoelectric transducer, and the other jaw is connected to the other end of the transducer. A slow electrical signal applied to the piezo slowly changes the length, causing the two jaws to slide in opposite directions. This slow sliding motion makes the screw turn (static friction). At the end of the transducer motion, a fast electrical signal quickly returns the jaws to their starting positions. Because of the screw’s inertia and low dynamic friction, it remains motionless, holding its position. Simply reversing the order of the fast and slow signals reverses the direction of rotation.

Set-and-forget stability with virtually no backlash

The Closed-Loop Picomotor actuator moves when voltage is applied to the piezo, changing its length and in turn moving the jaws which turn the screw. When no power is applied, the actuator does not move. You can feel confident that your set-up will stay put, even when you power down your system.

Simple Integration

The standard sized 0.375 inch shank of the Closed-Loop Picomotor actuator allows it to easily be integrated into standard micrometer mounting holes.

Substantial Force Contained in a Small Package

With load capacity of 5 lbs (22 N), our closed loop Picomotor actuators have a substantial push force.

Vacuum and Ultra-High Vacuum Compatible

The vacuum versions of the Picomotor actuators can be used in vacuum (10-6Torr) environments and the ultra-high vacuum versions of the Picomotor actuators can be used in UHV (10-9 Torr) environments as well as VUV/EUV applications.

Teflon Wires

All of our vacuum compatible and ultra-high vacuum compatible Picomotor actuators come with short, Teflon-coated leads so you can make connections to your vacuum-chamber feedthrough.