The assembly and packaging of photonic devices plays an important role for throughput and production costs. The highest possible automation degree is, therefore, very sought after; however, this is difficult to achieve. Because positioning accuracies in the submicrometer range — and in six degrees of freedom — are required. For example, for coupling glass fibers / fiber arrays to light-carrying structures or to photo / laser diodes or LEDs with little loss. The handling of the delicate glass fibers is also a complex task.
In order to technically realize this complex automation task, PI has developed various solutions that are essentially based on two pillars: High-precision mechanical positioning systems as well as algorithms developed by PI for tasks such as the search for first light or the gradient search, with which the maximum signal transmission can continuously be tracked.
One of the first companies that has developed complete systems based on this technology in order to automize the assembly of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) is the Dutch company TEGEMA B.V.