Autofocus Systems

Autofocus Demo from Focal Point Inc. including MIPOS 500 SG


Microscopy systems are often limited by their depth of focus. Manual refocusing is time consuming and, of course, is impractical for an automatic microscopy system. Thermal drift and the exchange of magnification of the lenses causes additional problems for the focus, so that each time a refocusing process has to be done manually.

With the use of an autofocus system, a certain focus point can be quickly acquired and automatically readjusted with long term stability. Autofocus technology is becoming more and more common in the fields of surface roughness inspection and quality control in processes for printed circuit technology and laser beam welding. More and more they are also used in the field of laser beam scribing and, of course, in microbiological research.

High quality autofocus systems are time saving and they can improve the quality and speed of image acquisition enormously.

In the field of microbiological analysis or in the field of super resolution microscopy, the motorized autofocus system needs to be supported by a high resolution piezo driven positioning unit which is able to reach accuracies in the sub micrometer range.

The company Focal Point (Boise,ID), taking advantage of the knowledge and the competence of piezosystem jena, Inc., integrated the piezoelectric lens focusing series MIPOS into their autofocus systems. The combination of both products offers high speed focus acquisition, a long term stability, and extraordinary accuracy within few nanometers.

“We fill a need in the market right now for very robust systems insensitive to tilt and diffraction effects often common in industrial settings and we will be releasing even more dramatic improvements in focus measurement and control technology in the near future—stay tuned for exciting new developments.”, said Dan Marshall, CTO of Focal Point.

This video demonstrates the piezosystem jena MIPOS 500 used with a Focal Point Focus Stat 4 system on a Greiner BioOne 96 wellplate to autofocus on the center of multiple wells. Each yeast cell is approximately 3-4 um in diameter. Focus on each well is acquired in less than 10ms with a resolution of less than 20nm. The display of the amplifier on the right gives the position of the objective in microns.


  • Autofocus systems
  • Automatic inspection systems
  • Laserinscription
  • Measurement technology
  • Superresolution microscopy
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Semiconductor inspection
  • Biotechnology

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