Position sensing using an integrated VCSEL and PIN photodetector microsystem

A. V. Giannopolous, A. M. Kasten, N. Hardy, T. Jefvert, K. D. Choquette

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Compact, non-contact, and low operating power sensors are desirable for position sensing applications. Vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers integrated monolithically with PIN photodetectors have been designed and fabricated for optical position sensing. This compound semiconductor component has in turn been integrated onto a Si-platform to form a microsystem. Using a metallic grating as a position gauge, the sensor microsystem can measure differences in reflected power from the grating as it travels parallel to the sensors. This measurement technique allows for a high spatial resolution. Calculations indicate that such a device can detect spatial changes on the order of the wavelength of light emitted from the laser. Measurements from the work described here show the potential to use VCSEL/PIN chips to determine position with an accuracy of sub-micron resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XIV
StatePublished - May 3 2010
EventVertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XIV - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 27 2010Jan 28 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherVertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XIV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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