New Single-Probe Capacitive Gauge for Nanometrology Applications


Auburn, MA, September 2006 – PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P., a leading manufacturer of nanopositioning and precision motion-control equipment for nanotechnology, photonics, semiconductor and biotechnology applications, introduces the D-510 family of PISeca™ capacitive displacement gauges.

PISeca™ capacitance gauges perform high-precision, non-contact measurements of geometric quantities representing displacement, separation, position, length or other linear dimension against any kind of electrically conductive target. These single-probe nanometrology sensors combine superior resolution and linearity with very high bandwidth for dynamic measurements.

Features & Advantages
  • Absolute, Non-Contact Measurement of Distance / Motion / Vibration
  • Sub-Nanometer Resolution, Measuring Ranges to 500 µm
  • Excellent Measuring Linearity to 0.1 %
  • Plug & Play: Easy Setup and Integration
  • Very Temperature Stable
  • Bandwidth to 10 kHz
  • Proprietary Electrode Design & Electronics Provide Higher Linearity
  • All Systems Factory Calibrated for Highest Possible Linearity / Accuracy

Higher Linearity through Guard-Ring Capacitor and ILS Electronics
Not all capacitive sensors are created equal. Because the sensor design has a strong influence on the linearity, PI uses a special guard-ring electrode to shield the sensor electrode from boundary effects. This ensures a homogeneous electric field in the measurement zone and results in higher measuring linearity. In addition, the E-852 sensor signal conditioning electronics are equipped with the PI proprietary ILS linearization circuit.

Easy Setup & Installation
The capacitive gauges are plug and play units. The cable plugs directly into the sensor head for easy installation or replacement in the field. Installation is further facilitated by a display in the sensor electronics that indicates the optimum distance between probe and target.

Multichannel Measurements, Closed Loop Motion Control Electronics
PISeca™ capacitive sensor systems can be operated in multichannel configurations and combined with nanopositioning actuators for nanometer precise closed-loop motion control applications.


• Nominal measurement range* - 20 • Min. gap – 10 • Max. gap – 150 • Static resolution** - <0.001 • Dynamic resolution** - <0.002 • Linearity*** - <0.2 • Sensor active diameter - 3.8 • Sensor active area - 11.2 • Sensor diameter – 8 • Sensor area - 50.3 • Mounting shaft diameter – 8 • Operating temperature range - -20 to +100 • Material - Stainless steel • Mass – 8 • Recommended signal conditioner electronics - E-852.10, E-509.E
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