Resources / Motion Applications / Microscope Control

Microscope Control

~ Performance Motion Devices

Microscope control means motion control of automated microscopes, also called automated digital microscopes or more broadly automated microscopy. Such systems generally contain three dimensions of very precisely controlled motion; an XY table that moves the sample and a Z axis which focuses the lens/sensor element. Automated microscopes are a vital part of a broad array of equipment such as blood analyzers, biological and chemical automated assay machines, semiconductor capital equipment, photonics, and much more.

In this Motion Application:

  • Explore Design Considerations & Techniques
    The hallmark of automated microscopes are their ability to control the position of the sample being viewed very precisely. Positioning accuracies measured in microns or even nanometers are now common. The optical axis (Z axis) typically has similar or somewhat lower positioning accuracy requirements. High end systems use linear direct drive Brushless DC motors for the XY table and Z axis control, although piezo motors are also popular. Step motors can be used for more cost-sensitive applications, as can rotary Brushless DC motors with a ball screw mechanical arrangement for the XY table axes.

  • Examine Application Architecture
    A diagram shows the control flow for a typical high performance digital switching amplifier with leg current sensing. Such an amplifier architecture, coupled with a digital current and position servo loop, a high precision encoder, and located on an embedded card located close to the motors being controlled, can provide extremely high accuracy positioning.

  • View Motion Control Solutions
    Since 1994 Performance Motion Devices products have been used in a wide range of automated microscope control applications including biological imaging systems, DNA sequencers, blood analyzers, semiconductor metrology tools, chromatography systems, cell culture equipment, and other automated imaging applications. PMD’s MC58113 motion control ICs are ideally suited for use in embedded microscope controllers as are PMD’s embedded ION Drives and Prodigy Motion Control Boards.

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