Recommended Fiber Alignment Products

A complete fiber alignment solution requires alignment hardware, control electronics, software and system integration. MKS can provide any or all of the components, software and expertise required.

Typical Fiber Alignment System Requirements

R&D Limited Automation Low Volume High Volume
Alignment Accuracy & MIM 1 µm 200 nm 100 nm 50 to 100 nm
Speed/Cycle Time Minutes
(usually user-dependent)
Seconds or minutes
(can be user-dependent)
Several seconds Few seconds
Repeatability Not as critical
Hundreds of nm Hundreds of nm <100 nm
MTBF/Reliability Not as critical Thousands of hrs Thousands of hrs >10,000 hrs

Motorized and Manual Positioners

Motorized Positioning Stages

Motorized stages, driven by electromagnetic motors, are commonly used in production environments to enable the automation of alignment processes. They typically feature sub-µm MIM and repeatability, which greatly improves the quality and performance of telecom devices assembled using these stages. We at MKS stand by our published motion performance specs. All of the stages that we test meet or exceed the guaranteed specs, and typical performance values are about 2 times better than the guaranteed number.

  • XM Series: the ultimate solution for the most demanding manufacturing and test and measurement applications.
  • MLT Series: the low profile, high performance solution at an affordable price.
  • VP Series: the modular, compact system designed for fiber alignment.
  • VP-Z Vertical: povides easy access to load from any direction (lower profile alternative to VP XYZ stack).
XM Series Linear Stages
MLT Series Linear Stages
VP Series Linear Stages
VP-Z Vertical Stages
Travel Range 50-350 mm 25-250 mm 25 mm 4.8 mm
MIM 1 nm 5 nm 10 or 100 nm 60 nm
Accuracy ±0.2 to ±0.5 µm ±0.3 to ±3 µm ±0.4 to ±0.5 µm ±0.6 µm
Repeatability ±0.03 to ±0.035 µm ±0.15 µm ±0.05 to ±0.06 µm ±0.1 µm
Speed 300 mm/s 500 mm/s 25 mm/s 5 mm/s
Other Features Ironless Linear Motor High torque linear motor Low profile, compact, lightweight Unobstructed access to the moving platform
Use ✓ High Volume ✓ Low Volume
✓ High Volume
✓ R&D
✓ Limited Automation
✓ Low Volume
✓ High Volume
✓ R&D
✓ Limited Automation
✓ Low Volume
✓ High Volume

A hexapod is a parallel kinematic, mechanical device that uses six actuators, all moving in parallel, to provide six-axis range of motion in a Cartesian coordinate system. All axis moves are interdependent, meaning that the motion in one axis reduces the travel in the other axes. A hexapod is capable of complex combinations of linear and angular motions and is particularly useful for critical rotation adjustments.

  • HXP Hexapod: the solution when six degrees of freedom are required.
HXP50 Hexapod X Y Z ΘX ΘY ΘZ
Travel Range ±17 mm ±15 mm ±17 mm ±9° ±8.5° ±18° HXP50-MECA__1
MIM 0.1 µm 0.1 µm 0.05 µm 0.05 mdeg 0.05 mdeg 0.1 mdeg
Repeatability ±0.6 µm ±0.6 µm ±0.3 µm ±0.3 mdeg ±0.3 mdeg ±0.6 mdeg
Speed 14 mm/s 12 mm/s 5 mm/s 6°/s 6°/s 15°/s
Other Features 50N load capacity, no moving cables
Use ✓ High Volume

Motion Controllers

XPS-D Series
XPS-RLD Series
ESP302 Series
  • High performance, complex motion trajectories
  • Up to 8 axes
  • Extensive analog and digital I/O
  • Fiber alignment APIs
  • Best for high and low volume
  • High performance, complex motion trajectories
  • Up to 4 axes
  • Analog and digital I/O
  • Best for low volume and limited automation
  • Easy to use
  • Up to 3 axes
  • User-friendly front panel
  • Digital I/O
  • Best for R&D and limited automation

Piezoelectric Positioning Stages

Piezoelectric multi-axis aligners are compact, four- to six-axis alignment systems that are driven by piezoelectric actuators. This type of actuator is capable of 30 nm linear resolution and is ideal for remote control of alignment positioning in R&D applications. These multi-axis motorized positioners allow high-resolution (< 30 nm) adjustment for different combinations of X, Y, Z, θx, θy, and θz. These stages can exert a 5 lb. (22 N) force and have exceptional long-term stability and can hold their position with no power applied.


Manual Positioning Stages

Mechanically, manual positioning stages are the simplest and the least costly motion control systems that can provide precise linear or rotational motion. They are most often used in academic or industrial R&D centers and are occasionally found in low volume production environments. The recommended ULTRAlign™ series can also be motorized by adding NSA12 or TRA motorized actuators.

ULTRAlign™ Linear Translation ULTRAlign™ Tilt & Rotation
Travel Range 0, 6 or 13 mm 13 mm 6 or 13 mm ±10° ±5° or +2°/-1.5° ±5° or +10°/-7° PH-561_562
Other Features Stainless Steel
Left- or Right-handed Configurations
A wide variety of accessories
Use ✓ R&D
✓ Limited Automation
466A Stages X Y Y
Travel Range 2 mm 2 mm 2 mm 466A
Other Features Flexure positioning mechanism
Left- or Right-handed Configurations
A wide variety of accessories
Use ✓ R&D
✓ Limited Automation

Optical Power Meter and Detector

Optical detector measures the power of a beam. Together with a power meter, they monitor the optical signal and detect the highest transmitted power.

Fiber Optic Detectors

  • 818 Series: photodiode detector with exchangeable fiber adapter with lowest uncertainty available.
818 Series InGaAs Si
Spectral Range 800-1650 nm 400-1100 nm 818-fiber-adapter
Sensor Size Ø3 mm Ø11.3 mm
Min Measurable Power 20 pW
Max Measurable Power 10 mW 5 mW
Rise Time ≤2 µs
Calibration Uncertainty ±1% to ±4% (w/o attenuator)
Other Features Exchangeable fiber adapters
Use ✓ R&D
✓ Limited Automation
✓ Low Volume
✓ High Volume

Power Meters

1938-R Touchscreen 
1830-R Benchtop
1919-R Handheld
  • Sub-pW noise level
  • Time-stamped 10 kHz data acquisition rate
  • Fast analog output for motion controller
  • Graphical, touchscreen interface
  • Can use for production and R&D
  • Power sensitivity down to 10 pW
  • ±0.13% accuracy
  • Analog output for motion controller
  • GPIB option
  • Can use for production and R&D
  • Portable use
  • For transmission checks "in the field"
  • Best for R&D and manual fiber alignments


A focusing optic is normally needed when handling bare fiber. For a number of different ways to mount the lens, please check out the product family page.

Lens Shape Plano-Plano OP-grinlens-S
AR Coating 630, 830, 1300 or 1560 nm
Transmission ≥89%
Pitch 0.23, 0.25 or 0.29
Diameter 1, 1.8 or 2 mm
Use ✓ R&D
✓ Limited Automation
✓ Low Volume
✓ High Volume
F-LA22 Lens
Wavelength Range 350-1550 nm F-LA22
AR Coating MgF2
Numerical Aperture 0.25
Effective Focal Length 11 mm
Other Features Standard RMS threads
Use ✓ R&D
✓ Limited Automation
✓ Low Volume
✓ High Volume

Optical Table and Workstation

For applications requiring to hold the alignment in place, we offer a comprehensive range of vibration isolation and damping solutions to ensure a stable system.

Table Systems
Tables and Legs
Dimension Few feet Few feet Several feet, custom sizes Several feet, custom sizes
Thickness Few inches Few inches Several inches, custom thickness Several inches, custom thickness
Portability Must be carried or placed on "cart" Casters on legs are standard Larger, heavier, optional casters Larger, heavier, optional casters
Isolation None
Setup Base model comes assembled Base model comes assembled Support frame included but not assembled
May need help from riggers
Tables, legs sold separately
May need help from riggers
Cost $ $$$ $$$$ $$$$$

Other Products

TLB-8800 Series
Tuning Speed Up to 20,000 nm/s Venturi_TLB-8800
Programmabile Options Tuning speeds
Repetition rates
Dwell times
Wavelength ranges
Coherence Length
(swept mode, coherence control off)
>4 KM
Reliability >500 million cycles
Other Features OEM version TLB-8700 Series available
Use ✓ R&D
✓ Limited Automation
✓ Low Volume
✓ High Volume
  • Beam Profiler: ideal for comprehensive analysis of IR and NIR lasers used in Telecom applications.
NanoScan Beam Profiler
Wavelength Range 700-1800 nm NanoScan
Sensor Type Germanium
Beam Size 7 µm to 2.3 mm
Compatible Light Sources CW, pulsed >25 kHz
Use ✓ R&D
✓ Limited Automation
✓ Low Volume
✓ High Volume
LDC-3726 Controller
LDC-3916 Controller
Channels Single 16-channel Modular
Output Current Up to 0.5 A Up to 1.5 A
Temperature Stability (1 hour) ±0.001° C ±0.007° C
Modulation Up to 1 MHz Up to 1 MHz
Other Features Multiple layers of diode protection, front panel or remote control Multiple layers of diode protection, front panel or remote control
Use ✓ R&D
✓ Limited Automation
✓ Low Volume
✓ High Volume
✓ R&D
✓ Limited Automation
✓ Low Volume
✓ High Volume