Sapphire Derived Optical Fibers

Market Overview:

Optical fibers are enablers of a wide variety of modern technologies. However, during use, optical fibers heat up and their performance can change.  While not always critical to the application, such thermal dependence is especially problematic for high energy fiber laser and optical fiber sensor systems.  The addition of alumina to the silica fibers can mitigate the thermal effects of the fibers.  However, conventional methods severely limit the addition of alumina to silica.

This is a novel technology that uses a molten-core technique to add sapphire (Al2O3) to silica (SiO2) glass.  The core material melts at a temperature where the cladding glass draws into fiber.  The high quench rates permit unstable glasses to be directly obtained in fiber form.  It is a continuous process, allows for geometric control, can draw long lengths and allows for high speed manufacturing.  The acoustic spectrum is temperature independent which has never before been reported.  This technology features an all-glass optical fiber derived from sapphire exhibiting alumina concentrations which are considerably greater than conventionally possible and enables a series of remarkable properties. 


· High Energy Fiber Lasers

· Optical Fiber Sensors


· High performance at high temperatures

· Simple design

· Can be used in combination with conventional fabrication techniques   


Related Publications:

· “Sapphire-derived all-glass optical fibres”, Nature Photonics, 6, 627-633 (2012) 


Inventors:                        John Ballato, et al

Protection Status:           Patent application filed

Licensing Status:            Available for licensing

CURF Ref No:                2012-082


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Patent Information:
Advanced Materials
For Information, Contact:
Andrew Bluvas
Technology Commercialization Officer
Clemson University Research Foundation
John Ballato
Peter Dragic
Fibers & Films
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