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Chiral fiber apparatus and method for controllable light extraction from optical waveguides

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Title: Chiral fiber apparatus and method for controllable light extraction from optical waveguides.
Abstract: The system and method of the present invention advantageously enable controllable light extraction from optical fiber waveguides and offer highly configurable light signal guidance and control capabilities, as well as additional advantageous features associated with waveguides, by providing, in various exemplary embodiments thereof, a multitude of novel techniques by which the parameters relating to utilization of various light signals (such as direction of their emission, magnitude of the emission, physical surface area of the emission, etc.), can be readily controlled and configured as a matter of design choice. Additionally, the inventive system and method, in various exemplary embodiments thereof, also enable and facilitate selective configuration of, and/or control over, various characteristics of the light signals guided/controlled/extracted thereby, such as the signals' wavelength, polarization, intensity, amplitude, etc. To achieve the above-noted beneficial functions, the system and method of the present invention utilize a physical property of a standard, or a specialty, chiral optical fiber to scatter light signals entering the fiber in directions away from the fiber core (through the fiber cladding), to thereby advantageously enable selective and controllable extraction of light signals of a desired predetermined wavelength (or, optionally of a predetermined range of wavelengths) therefrom. ...


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Inventors: Gary Weiner, Victor Il'ich Kopp, Daniel Neugroschl
USPTO Applicaton #: #20110292676 - Class: 362558 (USPTO) - 12/01/11 - Class 362 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20110292676, Chiral fiber apparatus and method for controllable light extraction from optical waveguides.

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CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present patent application claims priority from the commonly assigned co-pending U.S. provisional patent application 61/349,256 entitled “Chiral Fiber Apparatus and Method for Controllable Light Extraction from Optical Waveguides”, filed May 28, 2010.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There is an ever-growing need in modern and cutting edge communication, display, lighting, and other applications, for various techniques and approaches for guiding, controlling, and emission of light signals. However, while solutions for simple emission of predetermined light signals from appropriately configured devices (such as LEDs, etc.), and for basic transport of light signals via conventional waveguides are in common use, the previously known solutions have very significant limitations both in the degree of control that can be exercised over the guidance and emission of light signals as well as in the level of control/configurability of the characteristics/properties of the light signals themselves.

Accordingly, it would be very advantageous to provide various novel techniques by which light signals could be guided and extracted (for redirection, for coupling to other devices/systems, for emission, or for other predefined purposes). It would also be useful to provide various solutions by which the parameters relating to utilization of various light signals (such as direction of their emission, magnitude of emission, physical area of the emission) can be readily controlled and configured as a matter of design choice. It would further be useful to provide various systems and methods to enable selective configuration of, and/or control over, various characteristics of guided/extracted light signals, such as their wavelength, polarization, intensity, amplitude, etc.

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 block diagram representative of a first exemplary embodiment of a novel fiber waveguide of the present invention in an elongated configuration;

FIG. 1B shows a schematic block diagram representative of an exemplary embodiment of a novel fiber waveguide system of the present invention, comprising plural fiber waveguide sub-component in a substantially planar configuration; and

FIG. 1C shows a schematic block diagram representative of a second exemplary embodiment of a novel fiber waveguide of the present invention in a geometrically selectable configuration.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

The system and method of the present invention advantageously overcome and address the drawbacks of previously known light signal guidance and control solutions in various applications, and provide additional new benefits and novel features, enabling new applications and uses for systems and components with highly configurable light signal guidance, control, and extraction capabilities, and additional advantageous features related to waveguides.

The inventive system and method, in various exemplary embodiments thereof, also provide a multitude of novel techniques by which the parameters relating to utilization of various light signals (such as direction of their emission, magnitude of the emission, physical surface area of the emission, etc.), can be readily controlled and configured as a matter of design choice, without departing from the spirit of the invention. Additionally, the inventive system and method, in various exemplary embodiments thereof, also enable and facilitate selective configuration of, and/or control over, various characteristics of the light signals guided/controlled/extracted thereby, such as the signals\' wavelength, polarization, intensity, amplitude, etc.

In summary, the system and method of the present invention utilize a physical property of a standard or a specialty chiral optical fiber to scatter light signals entering the fiber in directions away from the fiber core (through the fiber cladding), to thereby advantageously enable selective and controllable extraction of light signals of a desired predetermined wavelength (or, optionally of a predetermined range of wavelengths) therefrom.

In a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the novel fiber waveguide comprises an elongated configuration connected to a light source at one end (e.g., an LED, etc.), that is operable to achieve substantially uniform light scattering of the light signal emitted by the light source along at least a portion of its length.

In an alternate exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a novel fiber waveguide system comprises at least one fiber waveguide sub-component positioned near one another in a substantially planar configuration, each proximal to a planar diffuser, such that the inventive planar waveguide system is operable to achieve substantially uniform light scattering along each fiber waveguide sub-component and then through the planar diffuser, and thereby serve as a planar light emission source, that is substantially uniform across the planar diffuser surface. area (e.g., for use as a display backlight, etc.).

In a second exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the novel fiber waveguide comprises a geometrically selectable configuration (e.g., assembled into a desired predefined two or three dimensional geometric form, or configured to be flexible, or segmented and repositionable, etc.), wherein the inventive fiber waveguide is operable to be selectively configured to, at least: (1) achieve the functionality of the fiber waveguide of FIG. 1A, (2) when positioned proximally to a planar diffuser, to further achieve the functionality of the fiber waveguide of FIG. 1B; and (3) when positioned inside a light diffuser (or equivalent housing), to achieve functionality equivalent to a conventional light source.

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 INVENTION

The system and method of the present invention advantageously overcome and address the drawbacks of previously known light signal guidance, control, and emission solutions in a wide range of applications, and provide additional new benefits and novel features, enabling new applications and uses for light emission systems and components with highly configurable light signal guidance, control, and extraction capabilities, while providing additional advantageous features typically possessed by waveguides (such as flexible low-loss coupling functionality to other systems/components, selective directed light signal emission, etc.).



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20110292676 A1
Publish Date
12/01/2011
Document #
13149073
File Date
05/31/2011
USPTO Class
362558
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
21V8/00
Drawings
3


Beneficial
Optical Fiber
Parameters
Property


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