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13 September 2012 Cryogenic actuator for subnanometer positioning
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This paper discusses the development, realization, and qualification of a positioning actuator concept specifically for cryogenic environments. Originally developed for quantum physics research, the actuator also has many applications in astronomic cryogenic instruments to position optical elements with nanometer level accuracy and stability. Typical applications include the correction of thermally induced position errors of optical components after cooling down from ambient to cryogenic temperatures or sample positioning in microscopes. The actuator is nicknamed the ‘PiezoKnob’ because it is piezo based and it is compatible with the typical manipulator knob often found in standard systems for optical benches, such as linear stages or tip/tilt lens holders. Actuation with high stiffness piezo elements enables the Piezoknob to deliver forces up to 50 Newton which allows relatively stiff guiding mechanisms or large pre-loads. The PiezoKnob has been qualified at 77 Kelvin and was shown to work down to 2 Kelvin. As part of the qualification program, the custom developed driving electronics and set point profile have been fine-tuned, by combing measurements with predictions from a dynamic model, thus maximizing efficiency and minimizing power dissipation. Furthermore, the actuator holds its position without power and thanks to its mechanical layout it is absolutely insensitive to drift of the piezo elements or the driving electronics.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
B. v. Bree, H. Janssen, S. Paalvast, and R. Albers "Cryogenic actuator for subnanometer positioning", Proc. SPIE 8450, Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation II, 84504C (13 September 2012);

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