A kinematic mirror tilting stage, also known as a kinematic mirror mount or kinematic mirror holder, is a precision mechanical device used in optical systems to precisely adjust and control the orientation of a mirror or other optical components. These stages provide highly stable and repeatable mirror positioning, which is crucial in various applications, including laser optics, interferometry, and imaging systems. Here are the key features and considerations for a kinematic mirror tilting stage:
1. Kinematic Mounting:
2. Tilt Control:
The term "kinematic" refers to the use of carefully designed contact points and constraints to precisely hold and manipulate the mirror. Kinematic mounting ensures that the mirror can be adjusted with minimal disturbance to its position.
3. High Precision:
The primary function of a kinematic mirror tilting stage is to control the tilt or angular orientation of the mirror. This is often achieved by adjusting three or more contact points or flexures that support the mirror.
These stages offer high precision and repeatability in mirror positioning. They are capable of sub-microradian or even sub-arcsecond angular adjustments.
Kinematic mirror mounts provide exceptional stability, which is crucial for maintaining optical alignment over time and under varying environmental conditions.
6. Material and Construction:
Users can finely adjust the mirror's tilt angles in multiple directions (pitch, yaw, and roll) to optimize the optical path.
7. Mounting Compatibility:
Kinematic mirror tilting stages are typically made from materials with low thermal expansion coefficients, such as stainless steel or aluminum, to minimize thermal drift.
8. Compatibility with Optics:
These stages often come with standard interfaces (such as threaded holes) to attach to optical components or optical tables.
9. Fine Adjustment Mechanisms:
Consider the size and weight capacity of the kinematic mirror mount to ensure it can accommodate your specific mirror or optical element.
Some kinematic mirror mounts include micrometers or fine adjustment screws for precise control over tilt angles.
11. Locking Mechanisms:
They can be integrated into larger optical setups, allowing for flexibility in constructing optical systems.
Many kinematic mirror mounts have locking mechanisms to secure the mirror in its desired position once adjustments are complete.
13. Compatibility with Actuators:
Kinematic mirror mounts are used in various optical applications, including laser beam steering, interferometry, spectrometry, and scientific research.
In some cases, kinematic mirror mounts can be integrated with actuators or motorized stages for automated mirror adjustment.