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Fiber optic diffraction grating

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Title: Fiber optic diffraction grating.
Abstract: The present invention is directed to an optical fiber grating having a core, that is capable of controlling the light signal transmission therethrough by causing at least one of: at least one spectral peak, and/or at least one spectral dip in its core light transmission spectrum, corresponding to at least one predetermined wavelength. The inventive optical fiber diffraction grating comprises at least one longitudinally positioned structural element of a predetermined geometric profile and that is configured for diffracting a portion of the transmitted light signal at at least one predefined wavelength thereof, from at least one core mode into at least one of: at least one cladding mode and/or at least one radiating mode. Various embodiments of a number of novel techniques for fabrication of the inventive optical fiber diffraction grating are provided, inclusive of a novel technique for fabricating the inventive grating from a single material. Advantageously, such novel fabrication techniques rely on configuration of a desired geometric profile for the at least one structural element portion of the novel grating, each profile comprising a number of readily configurable parameters that can be selected and/or adjusted during fabrication, to produce a variety of novel fiber diffraction gratings, each having a corresponding specific desirable core transmission spectrum having at least one of: least one spectral peak, and/or at least one spectral dip therein, corresponding to at least one specific desired wavelength, dependent on the configuration of the applicable geometric profile. ...


USPTO Applicaton #: #20100158438 - Class: 385 28 (USPTO) - 06/24/10 - Class 385 
Optical Waveguides > With Optical Coupler >Particular Coupling Function >Coupling Between Modes In A Waveguide Or Fiber

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20100158438, Fiber optic diffraction grating.

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US 20100158438 A1 20100624 US 12642498 20091218 12 20060101 A
G
02 B 6 34 F I 20100624 US B H
US 385 28 385 37 Fiber Optic Diffraction Grating US 61138907 00 20081218 Churikov Victor
West Patterson NJ US
omitted US
Kopp Victor Il'ich
Fair Lawn NJ US
omitted US
EDWARD ETKIN, ESQ.
Law Office of Edward Etkin, PC, 228 West End Avenue, Suite A Brooklyn NY 11235 US
CHIRAL PHOTONICS, INC. 02
Pine Brook NJ US

The present invention is directed to an optical fiber grating having a core, that is capable of controlling the light signal transmission therethrough by causing at least one of: at least one spectral peak, and/or at least one spectral dip in its core light transmission spectrum, corresponding to at least one predetermined wavelength. The inventive optical fiber diffraction grating comprises at least one longitudinally positioned structural element of a predetermined geometric profile and that is configured for diffracting a portion of the transmitted light signal at at least one predefined wavelength thereof, from at least one core mode into at least one of: at least one cladding mode and/or at least one radiating mode. Various embodiments of a number of novel techniques for fabrication of the inventive optical fiber diffraction grating are provided, inclusive of a novel technique for fabricating the inventive grating from a single material. Advantageously, such novel fabrication techniques rely on configuration of a desired geometric profile for the at least one structural element portion of the novel grating, each profile comprising a number of readily configurable parameters that can be selected and/or adjusted during fabrication, to produce a variety of novel fiber diffraction gratings, each having a corresponding specific desirable core transmission spectrum having at least one of: least one spectral peak, and/or at least one spectral dip therein, corresponding to at least one specific desired wavelength, dependent on the configuration of the applicable geometric profile.

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present patent application claims priority from the commonly assigned co-pending U.S. provisional patent application 61/138,907 entitled “Fiber Optic Diffraction Grating”, filed Dec. 18, 2008.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to fiber grating type structures, and more particularly to an optical fiber grating capable of diffracting a portion of a light signal transmission therethrough at at least one predefined wavelength thereof.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Fiber gratings are incorporated into components that form the backbone of modern information and communications technologies, and are suitable for a wide range of applications, such as information processing and optical fiber communication systems utilizing wavelength division multiplexing (WDM). There are many different fiber grating types and configurations, with a wide variety of capabilities. For example, fiber Bragg gratings are useful in lasing, filtering and sensing applications. Various Bragg grating configurations also include chirped fiber gratings useful in chromatic dispersion compensators and apodized fiber gratings that are used to eliminate sidelobes in signal transmission spectra. Another type of fiber grating—a long period grating—is of particular interest in sensing and filtering applications. Light passing through a long period grating is modified rather than reflected, as occurs in fiber Bragg gratings. Also, unlike a fiber Bragg grating, a long period grating is typically used for coupling the mode of the fiber core into the fiber cladding. A long period grating has a spectral characteristic with multiple transmission gaps. The positions of these gaps along the spectral range depend on the refractive index of a medium outside the cladding of the fiber. Thus, changing the outside refractive index produces a shift in the transmission gaps. Typically, the period of a long period grating is significantly longer than the wavelength of light passing through the grating.

However, there are also a number of important applications for which an optical fiber grating constructed and configured to produce at least one spectral dip (corresponding to at least one predefined wavelength) in the transmission spectrum of a light signal being transmitted therethrough, for which such a grating would be the only practical solution, or for which it would be the best solution (or at least a more optimal solution than a long period grating). This is especially the case in applications where fiber gratings of very small lengths are desirable or necessary.

There are also useful applications for which it would be advantageous to provide the above-described diffraction grating that is substantially produced from a single material (as opposed to conventional gratings which typically have cores and claddings of different materials (or which may use the same material for the core and cladding with one of the materials being doped by another material), to ensure a predetermined minimum index contrast value therebetween. Additionally, there are applications for which it would be useful to have a grating capable of producing at least one spectral peak in its core light transmission spectrum, corresponding to at least one predetermined wavelength.

It would thus be desirable to provide an optical fiber grating for controlling the light signal transmission therethrough by diffracting a portion of the transmitted light signal at at least one predefined wavelength thereof, causing at least one of: at least one predetermined spectral dip, and/or at least one predetermined peak, in the resulting light transmission spectrum, each corresponding to the at least one wavelength of the diffracted portions(s) of the transmitted light signal. It would also be desirable to provide the above-described fiber optic diffraction grating that may be readily fabricated in its entirety from a single material.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings, wherein like reference characters denote corresponding or similar elements throughout the various figures:

FIG. 1A shows a schematic diagram of a cross-sectional view of a first exemplary embodiment of the fiber optic diffraction grating of the present invention;

FIG. 1B shows a schematic diagram of a side view of the first exemplary embodiment of the fiber optic diffraction grating of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 2A shows a schematic diagram of a cross-sectional view of a second exemplary embodiment of the fiber optic diffraction grating of the present invention; and

FIG. 2B shows a schematic diagram of a side view of the second exemplary embodiment of the fiber optic diffraction grating of FIG. 2A.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to an optical fiber grating having a core, that is capable of controlling the light signal transmission therethrough by causing at least one of: at least one spectral peak, and/or at least one spectral dip in its core light transmission spectrum, corresponding to at least one predetermined wavelength.

The inventive optical fiber diffraction grating comprises at least one longitudinally positioned structural element of a predetermined geometric profile and that is configured for diffracting a portion of the transmitted light signal at at least one predefined wavelength thereof, from at least one core mode into at least one of: at least one cladding mode and/or at least one radiating mode. Various embodiments of a number of novel techniques for fabrication of the inventive optical fiber diffraction grating are provided, inclusive of a novel technique for fabricating the inventive grating from a single material.

Advantageously, such novel fabrication techniques rely on configuration of a desired geometric profile for the at least one structural element portion of the novel grating, each profile comprising a number of readily configurable parameters that can be selected and/or adjusted during fabrication, to produce a variety of novel fiber diffraction gratings, each having a corresponding specific desirable core transmission spectrum having at least one of: least one spectral peak, and/or at least one spectral dip therein, corresponding to at least one specific desired wavelength, dependent on the configuration of the applicable geometric profile.

Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. It is to be understood, however, that the drawings are designed solely for purposes of illustration and not as a definition of the limits of the invention, for which reference should be made to the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is directed to an optical fiber grating having a core, that is capable of controlling the light signal transmission therethrough by causing at least one of: at least one spectral peak, and/or at least one spectral dip in its core light transmission spectrum, corresponding to at least one predetermined wavelength. The inventive optical fiber diffraction grating accomplishes the above, by providing at least one longitudinal structural element therein of a predetermined geometric profile and that is configured for diffracting a portion of the transmitted light signal at at least one predefined wavelength thereof, from at least one core mode into at least one of: at least one cladding mode and/or at least one radiating mode.

In various embodiments of the inventive optical fiber diffraction grating, an number of novel techniques for fabrication thereof are provided, inclusive of a novel technique for fabricating the inventive grating from a single material. Advantageously, the various novel fabrication techniques provided for the novel fiber diffraction grating in accordance with the present invention rely on configuration of a desired geometric profile for the at least one structural element portion of the novel grating, each profile comprising a number of readily configurable parameters that can be selected and/or adjusted during fabrication, to produce a variety of novel fiber diffraction gratings, each having a corresponding specific desirable core transmission spectrum having at least one of: least one spectral peak, and/or at least one spectral dip therein, corresponding to at least one specific desired wavelength, dependent on the configuration of the applicable geometric profile.

It is well known that in conventional optical fibers the necessary index contrast between the fiber core and cladding, to ensure that a light signal being transmitted therethrough would substantially travel in a core mode, can be achieved in a number of different ways, for example by using materials with sufficiently different refractive index for each of the core and the cladding, through doping of the core with an appropriate material, and in other well-known ways.

In recent years, a different solution, for producing an optical fiber capable of guiding light through its core, has been successfully developed—microstructured (“MS”) optical fibers are fibers that enable a different way of guiding light through their cores, and that can be fabricated from a single material (without necessity for doping the core). Instead of a conventional core, the MS fibers in essence provide a “virtual” core, that is defined by a set of specially configured and positioned predetermined longitudinal elements disposed around the fiber's central longitudinal axis. For example, these longitudinal elements may be a periodic array of longitudinal channels (i.e., “holes”) in the cladding positioned around the fiber's central axis to define a “core”, with light transmitted therethrough now being guided in such a core. This advantageous light confinement to/within the MS fiber core takes effect, and is determined by, at least one of the following two main reasons:

    • (1) effective refractive index of the cladding is lower that the region of the MS “core”, and/or
    • (2) the structure of periodic array of channels results in Bragg reflections in the MS fiber structure that cause the MS “core” to guide light, for example through a centermost channel.

In accordance with various embodiments of the present invention, the novel optical fiber diffraction grating may be readily produced and configured, either by processing a conventional MS fiber structure in a novel manner (as described below in connection with FIGS. 1A and 1B), and/or by preparing a specially configured novel structure based on, but departing, at least in part, from MS fiber principles.

Referring now to FIGS. 1A and 1B, a first embodiment of the inventive optical fiber diffraction grating is shown as diffraction grating 10, based on a MS fiber structure perform 12a having a virtual core 14, and having at least one MS element 16a positioned and configured to produce a sufficient degree of light confinement to define the core 14 (for example, as shown in FIG. 1A, at least one MS element 16a may comprise a plurality of concentrically positioned sets of longitudinal channels in the fiber structure. This MS fiber 12a configuration produces a core mode in the core 14, however at least some portion of the energy of a light signal transmitted through the core 14 in fact propagates into the cladding 18, essentially forming light transmission spectrum “tails” (in the direction of the channels)

In accordance with the present invention, the diffraction grating 10 is produced by twisting the MS structure preform 12a, to produce a modified structure 12 having at least one structural element 16b therein, of a predefined geometric profile, comprising specifically selected values for at least a twist helical pitch HP (e.g., at a certain pitch angle), and a twist helical diameter HD (and in connection with this inventive embodiment also comprising a “twist profile”).

As the MS structure preform 12a is twisted, the abovementioned “tails” begin to cross the forming at least one structural element 16b, and with a properly selected geometric profile (i.e., for predetermined values of HP and HD), Bragg reflections, configured to diffract the light signal from a core mode of at least one predetermined wavelength traveling through the core 14, for at least one particular desired wavelength, away from the core 14 (thus essentially extracting at least a portion of the light signal from the core 14, and causing a corresponding dip in the core transmission spectrum). In one embodiment of the present invention, at certain wavelengths the resulting core transmission may appear similar to that of a long period grating (although in the case of the inventive grating 10, the spectral dips in the transmission spectrum would not me sensitive to any outside medium).

Advantageously, the various parameters (HP, HD, etc.) of the geometric profile of the at least one structural element 16b, may be selected and/or configured to produce at least one spectral dip, and/or at least one spectral peak in the core transmission spectrum for one or more predefined desired wavelengths. The geometric profile of the at least one structural element 16b, may be also selected and/or configured to produce at least one radiating mode (i.e., in which Bragg reflections cause the diffracted portion of the light signal to leave the fiber completely). Therefore, advantageously, the novel diffraction grating 10, may achieve the desired diffraction in at least one of: at least one cladding mode, and/or at least one radiating mode.

While the use of a single material, with plural channels as MS elements, for the perform 12a is advantageous for certain applications (such as for sensor elements that may be heated in a manner sufficient to cause the resulting grating 10 to expand and then contract, in other embodiments of the invention, the at least one MS element 16a (e.g., channels) can be filled with different materials (e.g., vacuum, air, a predetermined gaseous substance, or a predetermined dielectric material, etc.) or may otherwise comprise regions of a different refractive index from the cladding 18. The advantage of this approach, is that it allows a greater level of control of the index contrast between the core 14 and the cladding 18. If this embodiment is utilized then both of the light confinement principles (1) and (2) described above are jointly applicable, with the impact of each principle being dependent on the positioning of the MS elements 16a within the perform 12a. In another embodiment of the invention, the MS elements 16a may comprise a plurality of groves (not shown).

Referring now to FIGS. 2A and 2B, a second embodiment of the inventive optical fiber diffraction grating is shown as diffraction grating 40, based on a specially configured MS fiber structure 50, having a virtual core 52, and having a plurality of structural elements 56 positioned and configured to produce a sufficient degree of light confinement to define the core 52, and to also produce at least one predefined distortion in lateral periodicity 58, between the plural structural elements thereof, that advantageously results in at least one predefined narrow defect state in the light transmission spectrum in a transverse direction, which causes a corresponding at least one spectral dip in the core transmission spectrum for at least one wavelength that corresponds to the at least one defect state.

Distortion 58 can be achieved in a number of different ways. For example, if distances between each concentric set of different plural structural elements 56 are substantially the same (e.g., D1), then the least one predefined distortion in lateral periodicity 58 may be readily produced by configuring the distance between two predetermined plural element 56 sets (selected based on the needed spectral position corresponding to the desired defect state), can be configured as D2, different from other uniform D1s. Other inventive ways of achieving at least one distortion 58, for example by altering the size of one or more particular concentric sets of plural elements 56, or by using one or more particular concentric sets of plural elements 56 composed of a different material than core 54 (i.e., having different refractive indices therefrom). The diffracting grating 40 is advantageous in that it does not require the structure 50 to be twisted or to otherwise be physically manipulated (other than the pre-configuration necessary to produce the at least one distortion 58).

Thus, while there have been shown and described and pointed out fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes in the form and details of the devices and methods illustrated, and in their operation, may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. For example, it is expressly intended that all combinations of those elements and/or method steps which perform substantially the same function in substantially the same way to achieve the same results are within the scope of the invention. It is the intention, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the claims appended hereto.

We claim: 1. A fiber diffraction grating for controlling a light signal transmission of a predetermined at least one wavelength therethrough, comprising: a modified optical fiber having at least one core mode, and at least one of: at least one cladding mode and at least one radiating mode, said modified optical fiber further comprising: at least one structural element having a predetermined geometrical profile, wherein said predetermined geometrical profile is configured to diffract a light signal of said at least one core mode at at least one diffracted wavelength, selected from the at least one predetermined wavelength. 2. The fiber diffraction grating of claim 1, wherein said predetermined geometrical profile comprises a predetermined helical pitch, a predetermined helical diameter, and a single predetermined handedness. 3. The fiber diffraction grating of claim 2, wherein said predetermined pitch and said predetermined diameter are further configured to couple light into at least one of said at least one radiating mode. 4. The fiber diffraction grating of claim 2, wherein said predetermined pitch and said predetermined diameter are further configured to couple into at least one of said at least one cladding mode. 5. The fiber diffraction grating of claim 2, wherein the light signal transmission comprises a core transmission spectrum, representative of the light signal transmitted in said at least one core mode, and wherein said predetermined pitch and said predetermined diameter are further configured to produce at least one of: a spectral dip or a spectral peak in said core transmission spectrum. 6. The fiber diffraction grating of claim 2, wherein said modified optical fiber comprises a microstructured optical fiber that has been twisted, in accordance with a predefined twist profile, to produce therein said at least one structural element of said predetermined helical pitch and said predetermined helical diameter. 7. The fiber diffraction grating of claim 1, wherein the light signal transmission comprises a core transmission spectrum, representative of the light signal transmitted in said at least one core mode, and wherein said modified optical fiber comprises a microstructured optical fiber having at least one predefined distortion in lateral periodicity therein that is configured to produce at least one predefined defect state, each causing a corresponding at least one spectral dip in said core transmission spectrum. 8. The fiber diffraction grating of claim 1, wherein said at least one structural element comprises a plurality of longitudinal channels defined within said modified optical fiber, and sized and positioned in accordance with a first predetermined pattern. 9. The fiber diffraction grating of claim 8, wherein at least a portion of said plural longitudinal channels are filled with one of: vacuum, air, a predetermined gaseous substance, or a predetermined dielectric material. 10. The fiber diffraction grating of claim 1, wherein said at least one structural element comprises a plurality of longitudinal grooves defined in said modified optical fiber, and sized and positioned in accordance with a first predetermined pattern. 11. The fiber diffraction grating of claim 10, wherein at least a portion of said plural longitudinal grooves are filled with one of: air, or a predetermined dielectric material.


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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20100158438 A1
Publish Date
06/24/2010
Document #
12642498
File Date
12/18/2009
USPTO Class
385 28
Other USPTO Classes
385 37
International Class
02B6/34
Drawings
3



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