18 Jun 2004
The pick of this week's patent applications including a photonic crystal light source.
• Title: Photonic crystal light source
Applicant: Sandia Corporation, US
International application number: WO 2004/049764
Sandia is trying to patent a photonic crystal light source based on its characteristic stacked-log lattice structure. The application states the photonic crystal will have an enhanced photonic density-of-states over a specific band of frequencies. When the device is heated, enhanced light emission is seen at these frequencies. "The spectral properties of the light source can be easily tuned by modifying the photonic crystal structure and materials," say the applicants. "The light source can comprise additional photonic crystals that exhibit enhanced light emission at a different band of frequencies to provide color mixing."
• Title: Method for creating a colored, engraved mark on a brick
Applicant: Laser Light Technologies, US
International application number: WO 2004/048055
A US firm is using lasers to inscribe multi-colored characters into bricks and other ceramic objects. The authors of patent application WO 2004/048055 believe this could be useful for inscribing long-lasting characters into everything from monuments and memorials to paving stones in walkways that have been sponsored by members of the public. Shining a laser on the brick creates a groove, which is then filled colored glass frit particles. The laser then heats the brick and the glass particles. "The glass frit solidifies and bonds with the brick upon cooling leaving a permanent colored mark," claim the applicants.
• Title: Use of high wavenumber Raman spectroscopy for measuring tissue
Applicant: Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, the Netherlands
International application number: WO 2004/051242
High wavenumber Raman spectroscopy could be a valuable technique when it comes to detecting tumors, according to the authors of patent application WO 2004/051242. "The invention enables ex vivo, in vitro, and in vivo analysis and diagnosis of atherosclerotic plaque and detection of tumor tissue with great advantages over current state-of-the-art technology," say the applicants. The system consists of a laser, a fiber-optic probe and a detector which analyses the signal scattered from the tissue in the spectral range 2500-3700cm-1. To avoid contaminating the signal, the authors say that the fibers which collect the scattered light generate no Raman signal between 2500-3700cm-1.