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Patent highlights

10 Sep 2004

The pick of this week's patent applications including a fiber laser for cutting metal stents.

•  Title: Pulsed fiber laser cutting system for medical implants
Applicant: Advanced Cardiovascular Systems, Inc, US
International application number: WO 2004/073916
Direct laser cutting of metal stents is the subject of application WO 2004/073916. The technique uses a diode-pumped fiber laser and an external pulse generator which ensures that the pulses are between 0.02 and 0.50 milliseconds at repetition rates of 100 to 3000 Hz. A jet of oxygen gas is also fired at the metal. "The oxygen reacts with the metal to assist in the cutting process very similar to oxyacetylene cutting," say the authors. "The focused laser beam acts as an ignition source and controls the reaction of the oxygen with the metal. It is possible to cut the material with a very fine kerf precision."

•  Title: Organic electroluminescent device
Applicant: LG Electronics, Korea
International application number: WO 2004/075603
LG Electronics of Korea believes it has come up with a way to enhance the brightness and color purity of organic electroluminescent devices. The crucial step involves depositing a hole-blocking layer between the light-emitting layer and the cathode. The firm discloses its method of making the hole-blocking layer in application number WO 2004/075603. The layer is said to contain a substituted or non-substituted aromatic group, a heterocyclic group, an aliphatic group, a halogen or hydrogen.

•  Title: Free-space optical communication network
Applicant: Alps Electric (UK) Ltd, UK
International application number: WO 2004/075599
Patent application WO 2004/075599 describes a free-space data transmission network. The authors say that the invention suits use as a local-area network or to link local neighbourhoods, dwellings or workplaces which require connections to a wider network such as the Internet. The invention comprises a mesh of optical nodes, each containing at least two transmitters and receivers. Data are transmitted by modulating the output of 1550 nm laser diodes and the applicants believe a bandwidth of at least 600 Mb/sec is possible. "The apparatus also includes a self-healing routing mechanism which enables a transmitter to transmit data to a desired receiver depending on the ultimate route of the message and for dynamically altering the path in the event of node failures," say the applicants.

•  Title: Systems and method for cutting using a variable astigmatic focal beam spot
Applicant: JP Sercel Associates Inc, US
International application number: WO 2004/075174
An astigmatic beam spot is ideal for scribing semiconductor wafers, say the authors of application WO 2004/075174. Passing a laser beam through an anamorphic beam delivery system introduces the astigmatism. "The astigmatic focal points result in an asymmetric, yet sharply focused, beam spot that consists of sharpened leading and trailing edges," say the authors. "Adjusting the focal points changes the aspect ratio of the focal beam spot, allowing adjustment of energy density at the target without affecting laser output power. This increases scribing speeds and minimizes excessive heating."

Universe Kogaku America Inc.Bristol Instruments, Inc.DIAMOND SAAUREA TECHNOLOGYLASEROPTIK GmbHLightTrans International GmbHECOPTIK
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