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Micro optical fiber light source and sensor and method of fabrication thereof

United States Patent

5,627,922
May 6, 1997
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
This invention relates generally to the development of and a method of fabricating a fiber optic micro-light source and sensor (50). An optical fiber micro-light source (50) is presented whose aperture is extremely small yet able to act as an intense light source. Light sources of this type have wide ranging applications, including use as micro-sensors (22) in NSOM. Micro-sensor light sources have excellent detection limits as well as photo stability, reversibility, and millisecond response times. Furthermore, a method for manufacturing a micro optical fiber light source is provided. It involves the photo-chemical attachment of an optically active material onto the end surface of an optical fiber cable which has been pulled to form an end with an extremely narrow aperture. More specifically, photopolymerization has been applied as a means to photo-chemically attach an optically active material (60). This process allows significant control of the size of the micro light source (50). Furthermore, photo-chemically attaching an optically active material (60) enables the implementation of the micro-light source in a variety of sensor applications.
Kopelman; Raoul (Ann Arbor, MI), Tan; Weihong (Ames, IA), Shi; Zhong-You (Ann Arbor, MI)
Regents of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
08/ 397,331
March 2, 1995
This invention was made with government support under Grant Nos.: DE-FG02-90-ER60984 and DE-FG02-90-ER61085 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.