Sunday, January 14, 2007

US Patent 7162137 - Nanoparticle Cladding Optical Fiber

Silica glass is the most common material used for fiber optics due to its superior optical properties. However, it has several defects including insufficient fracture resistance and sensitivity to moisture. This patent from ERS Company proposes the use of nanoparticles to provide a thixotropic property (i.e. fluidity under stress) to the outer cladding of fiber optic cable so as to help solve these problems. Claim 1 reads:

1. An optical fiber comprising: a core; and a thixotropic cladding layer including a plurality of hydrophilic nano-particles proximate the surface of the core, and a plurality of hydrophobic nano-particles around a layer of the hydrophilic nano-particles.