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Patent highlights

10 Jan 2003

The pick of this week's hottest patent applications including an efficient solar energy converter.

•  Title: Near-infrared ray shielding film
Applicant: Teijin Limited, Japan
International application number: WO 03/000779
Teijin Limited of Japan is patenting a film that shields against near-infrared light. The film consists of a polymer containing a near-infrared absorbing agent and blocks light with a wavelength of between 700 nm and 1 micron while transmitting longer and shorter wavelengths. In the visible region of the spectrum (400 to 650 nm) transmittance is at least 40%.

•  Title: Optical power beam dump
Applicant: Corning Incorporated, US
International application number: WO 03/001256
Corning, the US optical fiber maker, has come up with a way to dissipate optical power from a photonic device and protect it from potential damage. The scheme makes use of an optical fiber that carries unwanted optical power away from the device and delivers it a heat sink. The latter absorbs the light and converts it into thermal energy which is then dissipated.

•  Title: Solar energy converter using optical concentration through a liquid
Applicant: Kunihilde Tanaka, US
International application number: WO 03/001610
A scientist living in the US says that operating n/p junction solar cells in a dielectric liquid can create an efficient solar energy concentrator. The liquid not only increases their output power efficiency of the cells but also gives enhanced light collection thanks to the refraction and inner reflection of the incident light.

•  Title: Light emitting material and organic light-emitting device
Applicant: Showa Denko KK, Japan
International application number: WO 03/001616
Showa has developed a polymer light-emitting material which it says has a light emission efficiency of 5% -- the limit of external quantum efficiency of fluorescence. Allegedly, the material suits mass production as it can be made in a large area.

Oliver Graydon is editor of Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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