Assembly and Packaging of Photonic Devices

Fast Multi-Channel Active Alignment

Modern passive optical networks (PON) rely on optical components that can split or combine light signals coming from high-power light sources. Replacing active components with passive components provides significant cost savings by eliminating the need to power and service active components in the transmission loop. However, to guarantee error-free operation, in every point-to-multipoint link inside a high performing PON only minimal optical alignment losses are permitted. This also applies to butterfly-packaged active optical devices that contain a light source, gratings, filters and µlenses. The challenge in both situations is to align the light source and the optics optimally as fast as possible.

PI’s Fast Multi-Channel Photonics Alignment (FMPA) systems enable fast, parallel alignment of several optical components. Automated area scans allow fast and reliable first light detection. Also, the intelligent gradient search algorithm can optimally align each of the components simultaneously. Additionally, during long process steps such as the curing of adhesives, our gradient search algorithm can actively correct the position, giving the devices an outstanding performance.

Key Features of the Alignment Solution

Proven and award-winning technology
Simultaneous alignment across multiple channels, I/Os, elements, and degrees of freedom
Parallel processing allows 100 times the speed of serial operation
99% reduction of alignment-time cost
Scalable for fab-class assembly
Lowest cost of ownership
Reliable tracking during long-term process steps
Optimization of any figure-of-merit

XYZ/ θX θY θZ – Automatic Submicron Alignment of the Fiber and Fiber Arrays to Photonics Devices

  • Parallel-kinematic hexapod for fast alignment over long travel ranges in six degrees of freedom
  • High stiffness of the mechanical design provides high dynamics and short settling times
  • Freely definable center of rotation allows flexible alignment for edge coupling
  • Position sensors ensure high accuracy and operational reliability
  • Compact design for space saving integration
    >> H-811 6-Axis Miniature Hexapod
    >> F-712 Double-Sided Fiber Alignment System

XYZ – Automatic Nanometer Alignment of the Photonic Devices

  • Parallel-kinematic piezo system for fast scanning motion
  • High stiffness of the mechanical design provide fast scanning motion and tracking
  • Zero-play flexure guides for high guiding accuracy, without any wear or particle generation
  • Capacitive sensors offers excellent linearity of motion, long-term stability, and a bandwidth in the kHz range
  • All-ceramic insulated piezo actuators for outstanding lifetime
    >> P-616 NanoCube® Nanopositioner
    >> F-712 Double-Sided Fiber Alignment System

θZ Axis – Reliable and Scalable Placing of the Optical Components

  • Highly accurate and repeatable 360° rotation without backlash
  • High velocities and accelerations due to magnetic direct drives
  • Ironless linear motors provide smooth and precise operation without cogging
  • Low profile design for space saving integration
    >> V-610 Compact PIMag® Rotation Stage

User-friendly Automation Control

  • EtherCAT® interfaces enable fast integration into high-throughput industrial systems
  • High-performance industrial controllers automate built-in scans and optimizations with millisecond responsiveness
  • Proprietary firmware enables fast alignment of fibers based on fast area scanning algorithm for first light detection and gradient search for peak coupling with active tracking
  • Software support for fast application development on all common operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and MacOS as well as many common programming languages including MATLAB, Python, C# and NI LabVIEW
  • Quick start-up and ease of use with PI MicroMove software
    >> C-887 Hexapod Motion Controller with EtherCAT®
    >> E-712 Digital Piezo Controller

Do you have questions about our solutions? Our specialists are happy to help you!

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