Construction of rugged, ultrastable optical assemblies with optical component alignment at the few microradian level.

Applied optics

PubMedID: 23314633

Killow CJ, Fitzsimons ED, Hough J, Perreur-Lloyd M, Robertson DI, Rowan S, Ward H. Construction of rugged, ultrastable optical assemblies with optical component alignment at the few microradian level. Appl Opt. 2013;52(2):177-81.
A method for constructing quasimonolithic, precision-aligned optical assemblies is presented. Hydroxide-catalysis bonding is used, adapted to allow optimization of component fine alignment prior to the bond setting. We demonstrate the technique by bonding a fused silica mirror substrate to a fused silica baseplate. In-plane component placement at the submicrometer level is achieved, resulting in angular control of a reflected laser beam at the sub-10-┬Árad level. Within the context of the LISA Pathfinder mission, the technique has been demonstrated as suitable for use in space-flight applications. It is expected that there will also be applications in a wide range of areas where accuracy, stability, and strength of optical assemblies are important.