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Proceedings Paper

Nanometer precision robot for active photonics alignment using INCHWORM motors
Author(s): David A. Henderson; Sid P. Ragona
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Paper Abstract

To keep pace with the increasing demand for higher throughput, lower cost per unit and tighter specifications, manufacturers of fiber optic devices are now looking towards a new generation of automated alignment tools. The ideal alignment tool has six degrees-of-freedom (DOF), (X,Y,Z, Yaw, Pitch, Roll) repeatability better than 50 nanometers, travel greater than 10 millimeters and is fully automated. In this paper we describe the use of INCHWORM motor technology to produce a new nano-robotic system that demonstrates a major advancement toward the ideal photonics alignment tool. The INCHWORM actuator is uniquely suited to provide nanometer resolution movements over tens of millimeters of range with very high stiffness and stability. The clamp-extend-clamp-retract stepping sequence produces direct linear motion with no backlash. INCHWORM motors are integrated in cross roller bearing stages to achieve 20 nanometer and 0.1 arc second closed-loop resolution. The high stiffness and stability of the solid-state piezoelectric actuators hold position to a single count on a glass scale encoder while generating zero heat. Mounting fixtures hold optical elements so that their geometric centers coincide with the virtual point of rotation. Active alignment processes for selected photonics components, as well as intensity maps of components are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 May 2001
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4290, Optoelectronic Integrated Circuits and Packaging V, (16 May 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.426910
Show Author Affiliations
David A. Henderson, Burleigh Instruments, Inc. (United States)
Sid P. Ragona, Burleigh Instruments, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4290:
Optoelectronic Integrated Circuits and Packaging V
Randy A. Heyler; James G. Grote; Randy A. Heyler, Editor(s)

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