Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Engineering Science


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Dr. Shaun P. Salisbury


Piezoelectric-based positioners are incorporated into stereotaxic devices for microsurgery, scanning tunneling microscopes for the manipulation of atomic and molecular-scale structures, nanomanipulator systems for cell microinjection and machine tools for semiconductor-based manufacturing. Although several precision positioning systems have been developed for planar motion, most are not suitable to provide long travel range with large load capacity in vertical axis because of their weights, size, design and embedded actuators. This thesis develops a novel positioner which is being developed specifically for vertical axis motion based on a piezoworm arrangement in flexure frames. An improved estimation of the stiffness for Normally Clamped (NC) clamp is presented. Analytical calculations and finite element analysis are used to optimize the design of the lifting platform as well as the piezoworm actuator to provide maximum thrust force while maintaining a compact size. To make a stage frame more compact, the actuator is integrated into the stage body. The complementary clamps and the amplified piezoelectric actuators based extenders are designed such that no power is needed to maintain a fixed vertical position, holding the payload against the force of gravity. The design is extended to a piezoworm stage prototype and validated through

several tests. Experiments on the prototype stage show that it is capable of a speed of 5.4 mm/s, a force capacity of 8 N and can travel over 16 mm.



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