We have developed a linear translation device using piezoelectric-induced slip-stick motion. Reproducible single steps of about 30 Å, as well as continuous stepping with an overall translation speed of 0.25 mm/s, are routinely realized. The notable feature of this device is that this performance is achieved in the vertical orientation with the translator moving against gravity. This remarkable result is made possible using cycloidal functions instead of sawtooth signals to activate the motion. We have realized a very simple translator which can be used in any orientation with a displacement onset voltage of 15 V. The instrument was successfully tested in the temperature range from 1.6 to 300 K. Since no mechanical connections are required, this design is well suited for many applications, including scanning tunneling microscopy.
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