Monday, June 05, 2006

US Patent 7054513 - Quantum Dot Optical Fiber Sensor

The use of fiber optic waveguides in sensing operations is fairly well known. Chemical impurities, heat, or pressure on the fiber effect the transmission of light by the fiber and these effects may be exploited in environmental sensors. The inventors of this patent teach a way to form holes in optical fibers and inserting quantum dots in the holes. Quantum dots may also be used in environmental detection and can supplement or amplify the sensing effects of the optical fiber. Claim 1 reads:

1. An optical fiber sensor, comprising: a holey optical fiber comprising: a) a guiding region for carrying confined light b) a plurality of holes in the optical fiber; c) a plurality of quantum dots in the holes; and a light detector coupled to the holey optical fiber, operable for detecting a change in an optical characteristic of the quantum dots.