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Axicon Centering Station

Axicon Centering Station

Precision centering stations, instruments for aligning lenses in a barrel and cementing lens groups, create axes in space used for centering lenses. A precision rotary table usually creates this axis. The Axicon Centering Station (ACS) uses an Axicon grating to create the alignment axis, instead. Because of the unique characteristics of the axis, a Bessel beam created by the grating, the task of centering is greatly simplified and the centering station hardware is less complex and expensive.

A spherical wavefront coming from a point source of light on the Axicon grating axis produces a slender light beam normal to the center of the grating that continues to propagate beyond the grating and another beam that reflects back from the grating toward the source. An autostigmatic microscope such as the Point Source Microscope (PSM) complements the Axicon grating as both the source of light to illuminate the grating and to detect the reflected beam. With the PSM aligned to the grating, a second point source of light behind the grating creates a second beam that propagates toward the PSM. The PSM aligns the second source to the grating so there are both co-axial reflected and transmitted beams entering the PSM. This completes the alignment of the centering station.

When a lens is placed between the grating and PSM, these two beams align the lens in both tilt and decenter to less than 1 μm and a few seconds of arc. If the two beams are coincident and centered on the crosshairs in the PSM it shows precise lens alignment to the grating axis. Because the aligned lens restores the light beams to where they were before introducing the lens, the beams align the PSM at a new vertical height prior to adding a new lens to the assembly.

Optical Perspectives supplies the ACS with a PSM having a 10x objective and computer to control the PSM and ACS, a motorized vertical stage with height resolution of 1 μm, a 75 mm square Axicon grating, 2 separately controlled laser diode light sources, a vacuum system for holding lenses and assemblies in place and a breadboard platform for flexible arrangement of assembly hardware. This is the standard ACS but custom modifications are readily available.

 


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Case Studies & Testimonials

  • How small can the PSM be used for centering on a cylindrical axis?

    The PSM is an ideal tool for finding the center of curvature of a ball or the axis of a cylinder. The question is for how small a ball or cylinder can the PSM do this?

    The smallest article that was readily available was a piece of monofilament 8 pound test fishing line that was 290 μm in diameter. There was no problem finding the axis of the fishline, and separating the Cat’s eye reflection from the surface from the confocal reflection of the axis. The experiment was done with a 5x objective, and the result would have been even more definitive using a 10x objective.

  • Why is proper alignment so important?

    Here is a case of a very happy customer due to better optics.

    A few days ago an astronomer friend of mine commented that he had gotten the optics of his telescope improved and the improvement reduced the time it took to get data by a factor of 3. For an astronomer this is a dramatic improvement since observing time on large telescopes can cost thousands of dollars an hour.

    My friend did not say how the optics had been improved, but the important point is that better optics, whether due to figure errors, mounting or alignment mean more productive optics. I generally think of better optics as a better product leaving the manufacturing facility without thinking about how much the better optics mean to the productivity of the customer.

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Worldwide Representatives

FOR SALES IN CHINA PLEASE CONTACT:

FOR SALES IN CHINA PLEASE CONTACT:
OPTurn Company Ltd
R607, Yingzhi Building, 49-3 Suzhoujie Str.
Beijing, China
+86-10 62527842
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FOR SALES IN ALL OTHER ASIAN COUNTRIES PLEASE CONTACT:

FOR SALES IN ALL OTHER ASIAN COUNTRIES PLEASE CONTACT:

上原 賢司   Kenji Uehara
清原光学 営業部   Kiyohara Optics / Sales
+81.80.6600.6702
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Kiyohara Optics Inc.
3-28-10 Funado Itabashi-Ku Tokyo, Japan 174-0041

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