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Patent highlights

15 Apr 2004

The pick of this week’s patent applications including a way to cut cement with a laser.

•  Title: Cutting of cementitious materials
Applicant: BNFL (IP) Limited, UK
International application number: WO 2004/028735
BNFL has applied to patent its method of cutting cement-based materials with a laser. The crucial aspect is the laser beam’s power density. The inventors say the laser should produce molten material to a maximum depth of 10 mm each time it traverses the cement block. The molten material solidifies and is then broken into particles which are removed by suction.

•  Title: Method and laser tweezers for orienting a body immobilized by a laser beam and complemental apparatus for the laser tweezers
Applicant: Magyar Tudomanyos Akademia Szegedi Biologiai Kozpont Biofizikia Intezete, Hungary
International application number: WO 2004/027784
Patent application WO 2004/027784 describes an optical tweezer which uses a focused beam of linearly polarized laser light to hold the particle of interest. The orientation of the particle is changed by rotating the polarization of the light. The inventors are trying to patent a tweezer that includes a rotating half wave plate and a quarter wave plate, both of which can be positioned in the beam.

•  Title: Title: Optical fiber having a low polarization mode dispersion and process and apparatus for producing it
Applicant: Pirelli & C.S.P.A, Italy
International application number: WO 2004/028989
Pirelli is trying to patent its method of producing low polarization mode dispersion optical fiber. The apparatus required includes a furnace for melting the preform; a traction device for pulling the fiber and a spinning device which causes the fiber to undergo an elastic torsion. The patent application details the process for making the fiber as well as a cable which contains the fiber.

Author
Jacqueline Hewett is technology editor on Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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