Optical setup automation using the AutoOpticsTM positioning system
Stefan Sinzinger, Susanne Kinne, Boung-Jun Kim, J¨rgen Jahns
Optomechanical alignment tools are important equipment in the optical lab. Speciﬁcally
for the use in optical systems for sensing and detecting, manual alignment stages are often
not suﬃcient with regard to precision and stability. In this case it is necessary to use au-
tomatic positioning equipment. We investigated the AutoOpticsTM system by Integrated
Photonic Systems Inc. for this purpose . To this end we developed a measurement
setup for the testing of an integrated confocal sensor.
We previously demonstrated the possibility of integrating a confocal sensor in planar op-
tics. So far, due to high sensitivity of the system and the use of manual positioning units,
the measurement results were aﬀected by several sources of error in the experimental
setup. In order to improve the measurement for the integrated confocal microscope, we
redesigned the experimental setup using the automated positioning system AutoOpticsTM ,
by Integrated Photonic Systems Inc.
The microoptically integrated confocal system consists of three microlens elements fabri-
cated on both surfaces of a glass substrate. The light from a point source is collimated by
the ﬁrst microlens, focused onto a reﬂecting or scattering object by a section of the mi-
crolens at the opposite surface of the substrate. Since this lens is used oﬀ axis, the beam is
simultaneously deﬂected. On the return path the reﬂected light is collected again by the
second part of the microlens and focused onto a point detector. In the testing setup we
used two monomode ﬁbers as point source and point detector. For lateral alignment the
ﬁbers are ﬁxed in V-grooves. For good performance a precise alignment of the ﬁbers rela-
tive to the optical system and the object to be tested (in our case a chromium mask with
grating structures) has to be achieved in x-,y-,z- direction and in the angular directions.
Fig. 1 shows a schematic of the optical setup. For best alignment we mounted the silicon
V-grooves with the ﬁbers as well as the object onto positioning stages controlled with
AutoopticsTM positioning motors (Fig. 2). Thus we are able to align these stages auto-
matically with submicron precision. Connecting the detector signal to the AutoOpticsTM
control unit allows one to perform a scan for each of the motors and automatically ﬁnd the
position of maximum intensity. With the built-in chopped signal ampliﬁer it is possible
to signiﬁcantly enhance the signal to noise ratio of the measurements.
Fig. 1: Schematic of the optical system. Fig. 2: Photography of the setup.
 AutoOptics users guide, Integrated Photonic Systems Inc., P.O.Box 717, Clarksburg, NJ 08510.
 S. Sinzinger, J. Jahns, “Planar optical confocal system for imaging and sensing,” EOS Top. Meet.,