Optics: Leveling Components

  1. I have a apparatus with a thin electrode that is suppose to be parallel with surface beneath it. I can level the surface, but you cannot put a level on this electrode.

    I was thinking have like a block precisely made to the expected distance between the electrode and bottom to determine the alignment, but I was thinking if I was not careful I could damage the electrode.

    Another thought, maybe use a laser level and calibrated to the level surface, then some how move it up to the elevation of the electrode to check its alignment. However, I have heard that even the levels used by contractors are not very precise and can be quite cumbersome in those applications.

    I was wondering if there is any specialized instrumentation and/or produces used in the laboratory setting. I figure those who work in optics have developed something, but I cannot find any information on the issue.

    I would prefer to get some direction/recommendation for literature and documentation.

    Thank You
  2. jcsd
  3. mgb_phys

    mgb_phys 8,809
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    To get it parallel you can either measure the distance electrode-substrate at each end
    Using something like this http://www.sensorland.com/HowPage056.html is fairly cheap and accurate to <1um and non-contact. Or you can use an old fashioned travelling microscope to do the same thing.

    Another apporach if your electrode is reflective enough is to shine a laser at each end (eg slide the unit under a fixed laser) and measure the distance apart the reflected spots appear on the ceiling. With a bit of trig and assumign the position of the laser is fixed you can work out the slope of the electrode.
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