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Motion control at the speed of a human hair

01 February, 2005

Motion control at the speed of a human hair

Three Dutch organisations are collaborating to develop a motion control system that they hope will deliver motion and positioning accuracies that can be measured in nanometers. The technology will be able to work in three dimensions at speeds comparable to the rate of growth a human hair - 1nm/s.

The €4 million NewMotion project has attracted €1.2 million of funding from the EU-backed Stimulus programme that funds projects in the Eindhoven region. The three participants are the motion control specialist Nyquist Industrial Control, the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e), and FEI Electron Optics, a company that develops high-tech analytical systems for nanotechnology applications.

The project will develop the hardware and software needed for atomic-level positioning of an advanced specimen manipulator for use in transmission electron microscopes. It is scheduled to run until the end of next year.

FEI will develop the mechatronic stages that will make it possible to move in three dimensions in the nanometre world.

Nyquist will work on the hardware and software for controlling the motion of the stages, based on its NYCe4000 controller which has built-in amplifier technology.

The TU/e will develop new measurement and control algorithms designed to improve motion accuracy at the atomic level and to achieve smooth movements in the nm/s speed range.

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