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Patent highlights

08 Oct 2003

The pick of this week’s patent applications includes an analytical system based on breakdown spectroscopy.

•  Title: Fiber-optic laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) sensor for molten material analysis
Applicant: Mississippi State University, US
International application number: WO 03/081287
Scientists in Mississippi detail their analytical technique, which promises to generate critical information on the composition of metals as they are being manufactured, in patent application WO 03/081287. The breakdown spectroscopy method involves firing laser pulses into molten material via an optical fiber. This generates a plasma in the material, with optical emissions characteristic of the elements present. The technique can thus be used for on-line monitoring of the various components of metals such as stainless steel.

•  Title: Tunable laser
Applicant: Bookham Technology, UK
International application number: WO 03/081733
Bookham Technology is looking to patent a new tunable semiconductor laser design. The device is based on a waveguide incorporating quantum dots, while the tunability arises from an unspecified semiconductor material that uses the electro-optic effect to change its refractive index under an applied field.

•  Title: Optical broadband element and process for its production
Applicant: Carl Zeiss SMT, Germany
International application number: WO 03/081187
Optics specialist Carl Zeiss has invented a method of manufacturing broad bandwidth optical elements for use with extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light sources. The optics, which operate from the ultraviolet down to the hard X-ray range of wavelengths, are made from molybdenum and silicon layers. They are optimized by carefully controlling the thickness of each layer.

•  Title: Artificial star generation apparatus and method for reflective, refractive and catadioptric telescope systems
Applicant: Lasermax, US
International application number: WO 03/081314
Lasermax has come up with an idea for creating artificial guide stars that help improve the performance of ground-based telescopes. The described technique uses a light source and a hologram to generate collimated laser beams that enter the front aperture of the telescope. When viewed from the telescope the beams appear as artificial stars.

•  Title: Method and devices for accelerating the conversion of a corpse into ashes or dust
Applicant: Hans-Jakob Peters, Germany
International application number: WO 03/081138
The title says it all. According to Hans-Jakob Peters you simply take one corpse, replace all of its blood with fuel, put it in the deep-freeze and exert mechanical pressure. Then fire a laser at it and the corpse turns to dust ‘in seconds’. What will they think of next?

CHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.First Light ImagingIridian Spectral TechnologiesHÜBNER PhotonicsMad City Labs, Inc.Universe Kogaku America Inc.LaCroix Precision Optics
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