Nanomotion, a subsidiary of Johnson Electric, designs and manufactures components, motion modules and complete positioning systems based on its piezo ceramic servo motors. Our unique ultrasonic standing wave piezo motors are suitable for motion systems requiring linear, rotary or spherical motion in an extremely compact, direct drive configuration.
Piezo ceramic motors and motion systems
Nanomotion’s piezo ceramic motors and motion systems are based on the principles of an ultrasonic standing wave of a piezo crystal. The process of exciting a piezo crystal to create unlimited linear or rotary motion yields a wide range of operating benefits in terms of a large velocity bandwidth, high power density, built-in holding and braking without power consumption, and the ability to support nanometer level positioning. The unique motor packages provide for significant flexibility in configuring motion modules for a wide range of applications.
The benefits of piezo ceramic servo motors have successfully addressed a wide range of applications in medical instrumentation as well as medical devices. The instrumentation market has benefited from the ability to configure small form-factor (table top) analytical instruments for virtual microscopy, blood analysis, chromatography and DNA analysis.
The miniaturization of our piezo technology lends itself to applications in robotics and MRI compatible probes, syringe pumps and fluid dispensing as well as auto focus mechanisms for endoscopes. Miniature modules have been configured for auto focus and zoom in a 3.6mm diameter module, designed to fit on the tip of an endoscope to improve vision capability.
Non-magnetic motors for MRI
Nanomotion’s piezo ceramic motor technology is configured in a manner that has no magnetic materials and no intrinsic magnetic field. Motors can successfully function in a 1.5T, 3T, or higher magnetic field without generating artifacts in the imaging.
Non-magnetic motors are used today in surgical robots and probes for tumor ablation, providing precise velocity control and positioning with real-time feedback from the MRI machine. As the motor technology relies on transmitting motion through friction, there is an inherent safety aspect as the structure can be moved manually, as though it were a clutch, by hand.
Precision motion systems for microscopy and instrumentation
Nanomotion’s precision motion systems are used in a wide range of instruments to optimize image acquisition and diagnosis. Multi axes systems providing linear, rotary, Z motion and tip/tilt are used in ink lithography (depositing ink patterns) to measure bacteria or help prevent drug counter-fitting. Microscopes benefit from small cross section open frame stages that can optimize constant velocity for utilization of line scan cameras that will capture tissue or cell images on the fly. Our auto focus stages are capable of high duty cycle focusing with sub-micron steps to follow cell terrain.
Instruments for inspecting synthetic DNA or analysis of the human genome rely on extremely high speed, move and settle motion, with sub-micron repeatability. Throughput is key and using the intrinsic friction in our motor design allows for high-speed move and settle over conventional motor technology.
Zoom and focus module for endoscopy
Nanomotion has leveraged its miniature motor technology to create a series of modules to improve imaging with endoscopy. Modules from 20mm in diameter down to 3.6mm in diameter are designed with our miniature piezo elements and supported by our ASIC to move lenses on the tip of an endoscope. This vision capability has also been extended to the design and development of a vertibra, which can reside in the center of a scope and turn an optic to the left/right.
Syringe pumps and dispensing
The compact aspects and power density of our piezo motors lends itself quite well to requirements in fluid dispensing, particularly with hand-held syringes or where a large array of syringes must be carried over a well plate. The ability to minimize the pitch of the syringes (motors) and control precise fluid displacement is managed through a thin cross-section of our piezo motor with unique packaging. The wide bandwidth of velocity provides the ability to have precise low dose control and high speed retract, with a direct drive configuration.
Nanomotion has been the leader in ultrasonic piezo servo motors since 1992. Our broad product line of motor and drive components, motion modules and positioning stages have proven to be the most robust with an install base of over 75,000 motors and 10,000 positioning axes. As a subsidiary of Johnson Electric and our Johnson Medtech group, we have extensive engineering and manufacturing resources throughout the world. Our piezo motor technology complements Johnson Electric’s product line of DC and step motors and soleniods.