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Test Targets and Stage Micrometers

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Resolution Test Targets




  • Test Targets Identify Resolution of an Imaging System
  • Positive and Negative Resolution Available
  • Combined Resolution and Distortion Targets Available

Features

  • Positive and Negative NBS 1963A and USAF 1951 Resolution Test Targets
  • Sector Star Targets
  • Variable Line Grating Targets
  • Combined Resolution and Distortion Target
  • Custom Patterns and Sizes Available

The test targets on this page are typically used to measure the resolution of an imaging system. They consist of reference line patterns with well-defined thicknesses and spacings and are designed to be placed in the same plane as the object being imaged. By identifying the largest set of non-distinguishable lines, one determines the resolving power of a given system. Thorlabs offers test targets with both 1951 USAF and NBS 1963A patterns. Targets are also available with sector star (also known as Siemens star) patterns, a variable line grating, or a combination of patterns for resolution and distortion testing. For more information on each pattern, see the Tutorial tab.

Birefringent Target Manufacturing
The R2L2S1B Birefringent Resolution Target is manufactured at Thorlabs’ in-house production facility in Shanghai, China. This target has a pattern that is invisible unless viewed through a pair of crossed polarizers, making it ideal for calibration of polarization-sensitive systems. It is created by using a photo alignment process to set the fast axis of the liquid crystal polymer layer, which is protected by two N-BK7 glass covers. The device is engineered so that the fast axis of the overall target is aligned parallel to the side of the glass covers, whereas the fast axis for the patterned area is aligned 45° to this edge. The entire target has a retardation of 280 ± 20 nm. Additionally, it can display both positive and negative patterns by changing the orientation of the crossed polarizers. If the crossed polarizers are aligned with the sides of the glass covers, the positive image will be formed. If the cross polarizers are aligned at 45° to the sides of the glass covers, the negative image will be formed.

Photolithographic Target Manufacturing
All of the parts shown here except for the R2L2S1B birefringent target are manufactured at Thorlabs' in-house semiconductor device production facility in Jessup, Maryland. Our extensive production capabilities enable us to provide both stock and custom solutions for imaging system calibration and measurements. We use contact photolithography with a mask aligner to define the pattern on the glass substrate. The mask used is calibrated to NIST-traceable standards. Once the pattern is defined, we chemically etch the substrates and clean them in a class 100 cleanroom.

 

1951 USAF Ø1" (Ø25.4 mm) Resolution Test Targets

  • Determine Resolution of an Optical System
  • Ø1" (Ø25.4 mm) Targets for Alignment in Ø1" Lens Tubes
  • Conforms to MIL-S-150A Standard
  • Positive and Negative Patterns Available

Thorlabs offers positive and negative Ø1" (Ø25.4 mm) resolution test targets that are made by plating chrome on a soda lime glass substrate. These targets have 6 groups (+2 to +7) with 6 elements, offering a maximum resolution of 228.0 line pairs per millimeter.

 

1951 USAF Wheel Pattern Resolution Test Targets

  • Determine Resolution of an Optical System
  • 3" x 1" (76.2 mm x 25.4 mm) Targets for Measuring Resolution Across Image
  • Conforms to MIL-S-150A Standard
  • Positive and Negative Patterns Available
  • Compatible with our MLS203 Microscope Stages and MLS203P8 and MLS203P2 Slide Holders

Thorlabs offers positive and negative 3" x 1" (76.2 mm x 25.4 mm) resolution test targets that are made by plating chrome on a soda lime glass substrate. The 3" x 1" wheel pattern targets have 9 USAF 1951 targets, each with 6 groups (+2 to +7), offering a maximum resolution of 228.0 line pairs per millimeter.

 

1951 USAF Square Resolution Test Targets

  • Determine Resolution of an Optical System
  • 3" x 3" (76.2 mm x 76.2 mm) Targets Offer Resolution up to 4.4 µm per Line Pair
  • Conforms to MIL-S-150A Standard
  • Positive and Negative Patterns Available

Thorlabs offers positive and negative 3" x 3" (76.2 mm x 76.2 mm) resolution test targets that are made by plating chrome on a soda lime glass substrate. The 3" x 3" targets have 10 groups (-2 to +7) with 6 elements per group, offering a maximum resolution of 228.0 line pairs per millimeter.

 

NBS 1963A Resolution Targets

  • Determine Resolution of an Optical System
  • Frequencies from 1 to 18 cycles/mm (See List to the Right)
  • 2" x 2" (50.8 mm x 50.8 mm) Glass Substrate
  • Positive and Negative Patterns Available

Thorlabs offers positive and negative 2" x 2" (50.8 mm x 50.8 mm) NBS 1963A resolution test targets that are made by plating chrome on a soda lime glass substrate. These targets have sets of five horizontal and five vertical lines. Each set of lines is labeled with a number, which refers to the number of cycles per mm. With a maximum frequency of 18 cycles/mm, the smallest cycles are only 0.0556 mm.

 

NBS 1963A Birefringent Resolution Targets

  • Determine Resolution of a Polarizing Optical System
  • Birefringent Target Displays Both Positive and Negative Patterns
  • Frequencies from 1 to 18 cycles/mm (See List Below)
  • 2" × 2" (50.8 mm × 50.8 mm) N-BK7 Glass Substrate

 

Thorlabs offers a birefringent 2" x 2" (50.8 mm x 50.8 mm) NBS 1963A resolution test target that is made by sandwiching a birefringent pattern between two N-BK7 glass substrates. The test pattern is only observable if the target is placed between a pair of crossed polarizers (see image to the right).

 

The target is designed so that it can display both positive and negative patterns by adjusting the orientation of the crossed polarizers relative to the test target. If the cross polarizers are aligned with the sides of the glass covers, the positive image will be formed. If the cross polarizers are aligned at 45° to the sides of the glass covers, the negative image will be formed. Because of its polarization sensitivity, this resolution target is ideal for calibrating and testing the resolution of polarizing microscopes, microscopes with a Nomarski mode, polarization imaging systems, or Mueller Matrix polarimeters.

This target has 26 sets of five horizontal and five vertical lines. Each set of lines is labeled with a number, which refers to the number of cycles per mm. With a maximum frequency of 18 cycles/mm, the smallest cycles are only 0.0556 mm. For more information, please see the Resolution Targets tab above. Since the pattern is only visible through crossed polarizers, the target is inscribed with two rectangles for reference.

 

Sector Star Targets

  • 1" x 1" (25.4 mm x 25.4 mm) Positive Sector Star Targets
  • Low-Reflectivity, Vacuum-Sputtered Chrome on Soda Lime Glass

Thorlabs offers two 1" (25.4 mm) square targets with positive Sector star (also known as Siemens star) patterns. The R1L1S2P target has 36 bars over 360°. The resolution at the center circle of this target is 57.5 lp/mm. Alternatively, the R1L1S3P target has 72 bars over 360°, and the resolution at the center is 115 lp/mm. Both targets also have a Ø200 µm center circle and are useful for determining the resolution of an optical system by noting how close to the center of the pattern an optical system is able to resolve adjacent bars.

 

Variable Line Grating

  • 3" x 1" (76.2 mm x 25.4 mm) Variable Line Grating Target
  • Resolution from 1.25 lp/mm to 250 lp/mm
  • Low-Reflectivity, Vacuum-Sputtered Chrome on Soda Lime Glass
  • Compatible with our MLS203 Microscope Stages and MLS203P8 and MLS203P2 Slide Holders

The R1L3S6P Variable Line Grating Target offers 18 sections of line grating with resolutions ranging from 1.25 line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm) to 250 lp/mm. The table below lists of each available resolution. The resolution of an optical system can be measured by determining the highest resolution grating with lines that the system is able to resolve.

 

Combined Resolution and Distortion Test Targets, 18 mm x 18 mm (0.71" x 0.71")

  • Determine Resolution of an Optical System
  • Measure Image Distortion, Astigmatism, and Other Aberrations
  • 18 mm (0.71") Square, 1.5 mm Thick Target
  • Includes 1951 USAF Pattern, Sector Star, Concentric Circles, Grids, and Ronchi Rulings
  • Positive and Negative Patterns Available
  • Compatible with our MLS203 Microscope Stages and MLS203P8 Slide Holder

Thorlabs offers positive and negative 18 mm x 18 mm combined resolution / distortion test targets that are made by plating chrome on a soda lime glass substrate. They are ideal for calibration of imaging systems and microscope stages. They are sized to fit in our MLS203P8 stage slide holder for use with our MLS203 Microscope Stages.

The test targets include a 1951 USAF pattern (Groups 2 - 7), a sector star, concentric circles, grids (100 µm, 50 µm, and 10 µm), and Ronchi rulings (30 - 150 lp/mm). These targets are useful for testing resolution, field distortion, focus errors, and astigmatism. The USAF 1951 targets are useful for measuring imaging resolution.  The grids can be used to measure image distortion, while the concentric circles are ideal for identifying focus errors, astigmatism, and other aberrations existing in an imaging system. The Ronchi rulings are excellent for evaluating resolution, field distortion, and parfocal stability.

 

Combined Resolution and Distortion Test Targets, 3" x 1" (76.2 mm x 25.4 mm)

  • 3" x 1" (76.2 mm x 25.4 mm) Target
  • Includes NBS 1963A Pattern, Sector Star, Concentric Circles, Grids, Ronchi Rulings, and More (See Table Below)
  • Determine Resolution of an Optical System
  • Measure Image Distortion, Astigmatism, and Other Aberrations
  • Compatible with our MLS203 Microscope Stages and MLS203P8 and MLS203P2 Slide Holders

Thorlabs offers positive 3" x 1" (76.2 mm x 25.4 mm) combined resolution / distortion test targets that are made by plating chrome on a soda lime glass substrate. They are ideal for calibration of imaging systems and microscope stages. They are sized to fit in our MLS203P8 and MLS203P2 stage slide holders for use with our MLS203 Microscope Stages.

The test targets include an NBS 1963A pattern, a sector (Siemens) star, concentric circles, grids, Ronchi rulings, and more (see table below). These targets are useful for testing resolution, field distortion, focus errors, and astigmatism. The NBS 1963A, sector star, and concentric circle targets are useful for measuring imaging resolution. The grids can be used to measure the distortion introduced by an imaging system. The Ronchi rulings are excellent for evaluating resolution, field distortion, and parfocal stability.

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