The indirect piezoelectric effect can be used to realize motion. As the maximum deformation of a piezoelectric element is rather limited, and the resolution is practically unlimited, piezoelectric actuators are especially suited for nano positioning applications. Examples are atomic force microscopy, in which positioning requirements are in terms of nanometers and even smaller.
Nano position applications often involve closed-loop operation, i.e., the use of feedback control. Nano positioning thus relies on, in addition to the small resolution of the actuator, to a large extent on the ability to measure in the sub-nanometer range. Dedicated sensors are required to this end, e.g. capacitive sensors.
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