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Proceedings Paper

Photonomics: automation approaches yield economic aikido for photonics device manufacture
Author(s): Scott Jordan
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Paper Abstract

In the glory days of photonics, with exponentiating demand for photonics devices came exponentiating competition, with new ventures commencing deliveries seemingly weekly. Suddenly the industry was faced with a commodity marketplace well before a commodity cost structure was in place. Economic issues like cost, scalability, yield-call it all "Photonomics" -now drive the industry. Automation and throughput-optimization are obvious answers, but until now, suitable modular tools had not been introduced. Available solutions were barely compatible with typical transverse alignment tolerances and could not automate angular alignments of collimated devices and arrays. And settling physics served as the insoluble bottleneck to throughput and resolution advancement in packaging, characterization and fabrication processes. The industry has addressed these needs in several ways, ranging from special configurations of catalog motion devices to integrated microrobots based on a novel mini-hexapod configuration. This intriguing approach allows tip/tilt alignments to be automated about any point in space, such as a beam waist, a focal point, the cleaved face of a fiber, or the optical axis of a waveguide- ideal for MEMS packaging automation and array alignment. Meanwhile, patented new low-cost settling-enhancement technology has been applied in applications ranging from air-bearing long-travel stages to subnanometer-resolution piezo positioners to advance resolution and process cycle-times in sensitive applications such as optical coupling characterization and fiber Bragg grating generation. Background, examples and metrics are discussed, providing an up-to-date industry overview of available solutions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4771, Optomechanical Design and Engineering 2002, (9 September 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.482175
Show Author Affiliations
Scott Jordan, Polytec PI, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4771:
Optomechanical Design and Engineering 2002
Alson E. Hatheway, Editor(s)

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