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Transcript
WHITEPAPER
Centration Measurement, Alignment
and Assembly of Infrared Lenses
Contents
Centration Measurement of Infrared Lenses
Special Considerations for Centration Measurement of Infrared Lenses
Infrared Spectral Ranges
Differences to VIS from the Operator Side
Differences to VIS from a Technical Perspective
Measurement Examples for Infrared Lenses
Centration Testing of Highly Sensitive Single Lenses
Centration Measurement of Infrared Single Lenses with Plane Reference
Flange
Centration Testing of Aspherical Lens Surfaces
Characterization of Complex Lens Systems
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Centration Measurement of Infrared Lenses
This whitepaper focusses on centration measurement of infrared lenses: it describes the
special considerations for the centration measurement of infrared lenses and provides a
detailed description of typical applications for infrared lens measurement.
The majority of centration measurements can be carried out with a more cost-effective
visual measurement head. An infrared measurement head is only required for the
measurement of optical systems or for measurements in transmission.
As the whitepaper focuses on infrared lens applications the general description of centration
measurement is not part of this whitepaper. Please feel free to visit our website to get more
information about centration measurement and low-coherence interferometry.
Special Considerations for Centration Measurement of
Infrared Lenses
For testing single lenses and completed assemblies that are only transparent in the infrared
range, TRIOPTICS provides measurement heads specifically designed for the infrared
wavelength ranges that are equipped with focal-plane array infrared image sensors for ease
of use. Typical applications are e.g. testing of lenses and assemblies for thermal imaging,
military applications or industrial process control made from lens materials like e.g. Ge, Si,
ZnSe, ZnS or CaF2.
Infrared Spectral Ranges
The infrared wavelength range is divided in three distinct ranges for imaging applications.
These bands exhibit high transmission of light through air and are separated by strongly
absorbing bands in the spectrum. The three imaging infrared ranges are: short wave infrared
(SWIR) from 0.9-1.7 µm, medium wave infrared (MWIR) from 3-5 µm and finally long wave
infrared (LWIR) from 8-12 µm wavelength. Due to limitations in detector technology, so far
no image sensor can cover all three wavelength ranges, however a LWIR system can also
cover most MWIR lenses and vice versa.
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For an overview about compatible materials and the wavelength regions covered by the
*
Comparison of transparent regions of typical infrared lens materials and the regions covered by available OptiCentric®
measurement heads. *Depending on doping level and dopant type
available measurement heads please refer to adjactent drawing below. Silicon is a special
case as the transparent region depends on the doping level and dopant type, so a LWIR head
might be a suitable depending on application.
Differences to VIS from the Operator Side
In contrast to VIS systems, the light emitted from the focused autocollimator head cannot be
seen by the naked eye which is however no problem in practice for aligning the sample.
Apart from that, the operation of the infrared systems is not different to the VIS systems, so
a user can be quickly trained for a new wavelength range.
Differences to VIS from a Technical Perspective
From a technical side, apart from using suitable optics and illumination sources in the
measurement heads, the most important difference between visual and infrared range is
that in the infrared range every object, including the sample, emits light in this wavelength
region, so the instrument needs to compensate for the thermal background before taking a
measurement. This is done automatically by the software and requires no operator
intervention. Also, the contrast between background and illuminated areas is lower than in
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the VIS, so specialized image processing algorithms are used to reach the required high
resolution.
OptiCentric® in the standard reflection mode relies on back-reflection from the lens surface,
so the light intensity of the reflected reticule image strongly depends on the type of coating
used. Typically, all infrared imaging lenses are AR-coated, however there is a wide variation
in efficiency which the instruments compensates by adjusting illumination power and
shutter times where available.
In general, the typical accuracy of the centration error measurement in IR range is
approximately 1 µm, which is due to the longer wavelength and larger pixel size of the
cameras used in the autocollimators in the IR range.
Measurement Examples for Infrared Lenses
In order to understand the
measurement and assembly of
different infrared lenses, some
typical measurement, alignment
and assembly tasks and their
solutions are presented below.
Centration Testing of
Single Lenses
Measurement Task:
Centration testing of non-VISMeasurement of an infrared lens on lens rotation device
transparent or transparent single
lenses with OptiCentric® is the described measurement task. The required instrument is
equipped with a lens rotation device and a visual measurement head.
Measurement:
The lens under test is placed onto the ring chuck support of the lens rotation device. This
fixes the center of symmetry of the bottom surface in space. When the lens rotates with its
edge against the V-block, the lens rotation axis is given by the geometrical center of the
circumference and the center of curvature of the bottom surface. In this way the rotation
axis corresponds directly to the reference axis for the determination of the wedge error. So
the remaining parameter to be measured is the center of curvature position of the top
surface, which can easily be tested by OptiCentric® in reflection mode.
Advantages of the Measurement:
Single lens centration testing in reflection mode with an OptiCentric® System with the lens
rotation device allows the evaluation of infrared lenses with a cost-effective instrument
without the need for expensive infrared devices.
Instrument Configuration:
OptiCentric® with lens rotation device with vacuum chuck
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Centration Testing of Highly Sensitive Single Lenses
Measurement Task:
The easiest way to protect highly sensitive lenses like calcium fluoride lenses against
scratches is to reduce handling during the production and testing process. The OptiCentric®
Dual instrument in combination with an air bearing and a non-contact distance sensor fulfills
this requirement, instead of using the lens rotation device with V-block. An OptiCentric®
Instrument with cost-effective visual measuring heads is used regardless of the material
properties of the lens under test.
Measurement:
The lens is carefully placed in the lens
holder. During the measurement the
dual autocollimators measure the center
of curvature positions of the top and
bottom surfaces; the distance sensor
measures the radial run-out of the lens
edge. In the analysis, the software
determines the reference axis from the
center of the circumference and the
bottom surface. The measured offset of
the edge of a highly sensitive lens with a distance
the top surface to this axis gives the lens Measurement
sensor
centration error. For lenses that are
transparent in the VIS range the centration error can alternatively be measured in
transmission. Therefore, the top autocollimator measures the run-out of the focus spot
when the lens under test is illuminated with collimated light by the bottom (auto-)
collimator.
Conclusion:
A minimum of handling protects the sensitive surfaces of the lens. Both surfaces are
measured in one step with cost-effective visual measurement heads.
Instrument Configuration:
OptiCentric® 100 Dual or OptiCentric® 300 Dual with distance sensor
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Centration Measurement of Infrared Single Lenses with Plane
Reference Flange
Measurement Task:
Lenses with a plane reference flange are often used in infrared optical systems. The
preferred instrument to measure these lenses is the OptiCentric® Dual, with two visual
measurement heads and lens rotation device with vacuum chuck.
Measurement:
The lens is placed with the support
flanges onto the ring chuck and rotated
against the V-block. The upper
autocollimator focuses in the center of
curvature of the top surface. The lower
autocollimator focuses in the center of
curvature of the lower surface. Thus,
the measurement is accomplished in
reflection. In this case the reference axis Lens with plane reference flange
is given by the center of symmetry of
the circumference and the normal of the support flange. The result of this measurement
gives information about the centration errors of both surfaces with respect to the reference.
For VIS-transparent lenses the centration can be measured in transmission as well.
Conclusion:
Both surfaces are measured in one step with cost-effective visual measurement heads and
lens rotation device with vacuum chuck.
Instrument Configuration:
OptiCentric® Dual with vacuum chuck
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Centration Testing of Aspherical Lens Surfaces
Measurement Task:
The use of aspheric surfaces in the design of optical systems makes it possible to achieve
better spot size performance, or alternatively to achieve similar performance while using
fewer elements in the system. Therefore, especially for infrared optics, aspherical surfaces
are commonly applied.
Aspherical infrared lenses are preferably measured with an OptiCentric® Dual instrument
equipped with AspheroCheck® module. This configuration achieves the best results and
allows for simple handling.
Measurement:
The lens is placed in the lens holder with the aspherical surface to the top. During the
measurement the lens rotates and the three parameters required for centration testing are
measured:

Center of curvature position of the
spherical bottom surface
 Paraxial center of curvature position of the
top aspherical surface
 Eccentricity of the outer edge of the
aspherical surface under rotation
These three measurements are taken at the same
time during the rotation of the lens:
The lower measurement head focuses in the
center of curvature of the spherical bottom
surface and measures its centration. The
centration of the paraxial area of the upper Measuring an aspherical lens
surface is measured with the help of the upper
measuring head in reflection mode as well. Third,
the AspheroCheck module measures the eccentricity of the aspherical surface.
Conclusion:
The results of these measurements of aspherical infrared lenses give information about:



Orientation of the asphere with respect to the primary reference axis of the
measurement system (corresponding to the axis of rotation)
Orientation of the top asphere with respect to the axis of bottom sphere and center
of circumference
In case of a double-sided asphere: relative orientation of the two aspherical surfaces
Instrument Configuration:
OptiCentric® 100 Dual or OptiCentric® 300 Dual with AspheroCheck module
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Assembly of Infrared Optical Systems
Measurement Task:
The precise assembly of lenses in a barrel is a
decisive step during the production of objective
lenses. An OptiCentric® instrument with an air
bearing and distance sensor greatly improves the
accuracy of the production process and the
performance of the final product.
Measurement & Assembly:
At first the barrel axis is aligned to the axis of the
rotary air bearing using a distance sensor (e.g. a
lever gage). The first lens is placed into the barrel.
The autocollimator measures the center of
curvature position of the top surface with respect
to the reference axis. Then the lens can be
realigned in magnitude and direction according
to the measured values. Depending on the
mechanical design of the sample the lens is fixed
in position by using retaining rings or glue, for
example. This procedure is repeated iteratively for all further lens elements until the optical
system is completed. If a VIS&IR measuring head is used, the assembly can be done in the
VIS range for highest precision and the final
inspection is done I n the IR range.
Conclusion:
An optimized mechanical alignment of optical
infrared systems is achieved using an OptiCentric®
instrument. Thanks to the step-by-step measurement
and alignment procedure of freely accessible lens
elements, a cost-effective visual measurement head
can be used regardless of the material properties of
the lens. If the assembly and final inspection of the
lens is required on one workplace an instrument with
VIS&IR measuring head is required.
Instrument Configuration:
OptiCentric® 3D 100 or OptiCentric® 3D 300 with
distance sensor, OptiCentric® 3D system with VIS&IR
measuring head
OptiCentric® MAX 300 with VIS&IR measuring head
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Characterization of Complex Lens Systems
Measurement Task:
In the quality inspection of lens systems, testing solely the final optical performance is often
not sufficient as it does not reveal the causes of potential substandard performance. Instead,
a full opto-mechanical characterization of the samples is required to identify potential issues
in the assembly process. An OptiCentric® 3D instrument equipped with an infrared
measurement head or VIS&IR measuring head, rotary air bearing, tilt and translation table,
and MultiLens and OptiSurf® low-coherence interferometer modules fulfills these
requirements.
Measurement:
After the objective lens to be tested has been placed onto the
sample table, the center of curvature positions of all single
lens surfaces are measured following the MultiLens concept.
Therefore, the autocollimator iteratively focuses into the
center of curvature positions (or their image positions
according to the MultiLens calculation) of all sample surfaces
and measures their relative position with respect to the
reference axis. In the subsequent analysis, the relative
orientation of the single element’s or group’s axis is evaluated
with respect to each other or a mechanical barrel axis. As the
precise coincidence of sample and measurement axis is a
particular requirement for the measurement of the center
thickness and air gaps, data from centration testing is used for
the precise alignment of the sample axis with the tilt and
translation table. Then, the axial lens surface positions are
measured.
OptiCentric® with IR measuring head
Conclusion:
OptiCentric® 3D 100 with infrared measurement head is the only instrument which
accomplishes the complete opto-mechanical characterization of infrared lens systems and
delivers detailed information about the assembly of the instrument.
Instrument Configuration:
OptiCentric® 3D with IR, OptiCentric® 3D 300 Infrared or OptiCentric® 3D Dual
If the objective lens only consists of lenses that are transparent in the visible range, standard
VIS measurement heads can be used.
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