A megahertz bandwidth dual amplifier for driving piezoelectric actuators and other highly capacitive loads

Fleming, Andrew J.
October 2009
Review of Scientific Instruments;Oct2009, Vol. 80 Issue 10, p104701
Academic Journal
Due to their high stiffness, small dimensions, and low mass, piezoelectric stack actuators are capable of developing large displacements over bandwidths of greater than 100 kHz. However, due to their large electrical capacitance, the associated driving amplifier is usually limited in bandwidth to a few kilohertz or less. In this paper the limiting characteristics of piezoelectric drives are identified as the small-signal bandwidth, output impedance, cable inductance, and power dissipation. A new dual amplifier is introduced that exhibits a small-signal bandwidth of 2 MHz with a 100 nF capacitive load. The dual amplifier is comprised of a standard high-voltage amplifier combined with a fast low-voltage amplifier to improve performance at higher frequencies. Experiments demonstrate a 300 kHz sine wave of 20 Vp-p amplitude being applied to a 100 nF load with negligible phase delay and a peak-to-peak current of 3.8 A. With a voltage range of 200 V and peak current of 1.9 A a standard amplifier would require a worst-case power dissipation of 380 W. However, the dual-amplifier arrangement has a worst-case power dissipation of only 30 W. The penalty is reduced range at high frequencies and slower operation from the high-voltage stage.


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