Fast Optical Alignment for Silicon Photonics Production

The convergence of photonics and semiconductors promises a leap in data throughput, parallelism and energy efficiency. Design and materials challenges have been addressed. Practicalities of testing and packaging have not. Test and packaging of silicon photonics elements require nanoscale alignments that cannot be performed using visual or mechanical references. Instead, these optimizations must optimize the optical throughput itself.

In addition, silicon photonic designs often incorporate multiple parallel optical paths with multiple, interacting inputs and outputs, all needing optimization. Simple economics as well as optical realities dictate that these be optimized simultaneously, yet until now there has been no technology capable of doing this.

Solution

PI (Physik Instrumente), a company with decades of experience as supplier of precision for the semiconductor industry, has now presented a system that meets the requirements of parallel optical alignment in several degrees of freedom. This is a decisive step forward in mass production of silicon photonics components.

The FMPA (Fast Multi-Channel Photonics Alignment) system is based on a combination of a high-speed piezo scanner, a micropositioning system (XYZ or 6-axis hexapod), and a high-performance controller with firmware-based routines for optical alignment.


PI presented the system for the first time at Photonics West 2015, which undergoes continuous improvement by development teams on both sides of the Atlantic, and is based on the accumulated knowledge of 100 man-years in the field of automatic photonics alignment.

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Products

F-712.HA2
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F-712.HA1 • F-712.HA2 High-Precision Fiber Alignment System

System with 6 Degrees of Freedom for Aligning Fibers and Optical Components

  • Integrated scan routines for fiber optic alignment
  • Ideal for applications in silicon photonics
  • Extensive software package
  • Direct detection of the optical signal
  • Position sensors for high accuracy and operational reliability
  • Automatic alignment of several fibers in < 1 s
F-712.MA2
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F-712.MA1 • F-712.MA2 High-Precision Fiber Alignment System

Stacked Multi-Axis System for Aligning Fibers and Optical Components

  • Integrated scan routines for fiber optic alignment
  • Ideal for applications in silicon photonics
  • Extensive software package
  • Direct detection of the optical signal
  • Position sensors for high accuracy and operational reliability
  • Automatic alignment of several fibers in < 1 s
PI M-110.1DG
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M-110 • M-111 • M-112 Compact Micro-Translation Stage

Choice of Drives & Travel Ranges, XY(Z) Combinations Possible

  • Travel ranges 5 mm, 15 mm and 25 mm
  • Very cost effective
  • Min. incremental motion 50 nm
  • Max. velocity 2 mm/s
  • Closed-loop DC servo and stepper motor versions
  • Noncontact limit and reference point switches
  • Optional recirculating ball screw drives provide high speeds & long lifetimes
  • Vacuum-compatible version down to 10-6 hPa
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M-122.2DD1 Precision Translation Stage

Compact Stage with Direct Position Measurement

  • Travel range 25 mm
  • Integrated linear encoder option for highest accuracy with 0.1 µm resolution
  • Min. incremental motion 0.2 µm
  • Max. velocity 20 mm/s
  • Recirculating ballscrew drives provide high speeds & long lifetimes
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P-611.3 NanoCube® XYZ Piezo Stage

Compact Multi-Axis Piezo System for Nanopositioning and Fiber Alignment

  • Travel range to 120 µm × 120 µm × 120 µm
  • Ultra-compact: 44 mm × 44 mm × 44 mm
  • Resolution to 0.2 nm
  • Rapid response
  • Frictionless, high-precision flexure guiding system
  • Outstanding lifetime due to PICMA® piezo actuators
  • For fast scanning
  • Version with integrated fiber adapter interface
  • Especially cost-effective systems
PI H-206
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H-206 6-Axis Precision Alignment System

Ideal for Fiber Alignment

  • Ultra-high precision flexure joints
  • Includes integrated scan algorithms for fiber optic alignment
  • Actuator resolution 33 nm
  • Repeatability 0.3 µm / 6 µrad
  • Min. incremental motion 0.1 µm / 2 µrad
  • Velocity from 10 µm/s to 10 mm/s
  • Sophisticated controller using vector algorithms, virtual pivot point
  • Comprehensive software package
PI H-811
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H-811.D2 6-Axis Miniature Hexapod

Fast, Compact and Highly Precise

  • Travel ranges to 34 mm / 42°
  • Load capacity to 5 kg
  • Actuator resolution 40 nm
  • Min. incremental motion to 0.1 µm
  • Repeatability to ±0.06 µm
  • Velocity to 10 mm/s
  • Vacuum-compatible versions available
PI E-712.M1
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E-712 Digital Piezo Controller

Modular System for up to 6 Axes for Highest Precision

  • Digital controller of the newest generation: 600 MHz tact rate
  • Up to 50 kHz servo update rate
  • Highly stable 20-bit D/A converter
  • Real-time operating system for excellent trajectory control
  • Modular design for greatest flexibility in meeting custom requirements
  • Auto-loading of calibration data from stage ID chip for interchangeability of controller and mechanics
  • Flexible interfaces: Ethernet, USB, RS-232
  • Optional high-bandwidth analog inputs and outputs
  • Extensive software support

Downloads

pdf

Brochure: Photonic and Fiber Alignment Engines

Nanoscale Accuracy, Millisecond Responsiveness, Ultra-fast Global Optimization, Real-Time Tracking, 3 to 18 or More Axes
BRO52E 01/2016
English
pdf - 2 MB
pdf

Success Story: Automatic Testing of Photonics Components

Fast, Accurate, and Suitable for Industry
SUCCESS STORY pi1161E
English
pdf - 572 KB