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Hollow Waveguide Laser Delivery System for Digital Particle Image Velocity

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Technology Summary

Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) is a non-intrusive, laser optical measurement technique where the velocity field of a region of medium is measured to determine flow, turbulence, microfluidics, and spray atomization. This technology is an improved laser optical system dubbed an all-hollow-waveguide digital PIV (AHW-DPIV) illumination system to illuminate particles within a fluid under observation. The AHW-DPIV illumination system consists of: a) a hollow and tapered glass funnel (optical taper); b) a hollow optical waveguide coupled to the hollow optical taper; and c) a beam shaping optical system coupled to the waveguide.

FDA inventors improved the high-peak-power delivery capabilities of the AHW-DPIV illumination system through the developed of a cyclic olefin polymer (COP)-coated hollow glass waveguide. The (COP)-coated hollow glass waveguide minimizes the waveguide attenuation losses of a typical DPIV laser (532nm). Studies confirm the COP-coated hollow glass waveguide provides significantly higher laser power without damaging effects (>1 GW/cm2) compared to a conventional solid-core fiber link. Additional features include flexible formatting of thin (0.5-1.0 mm), wide (10 mm or wider) and uniform laser illumination sheets; immunity to external influences (including vibrations and angular laser beam drift), and safe and confined laser delivery.

Potential Commercial Applications Competitive Advantages
  • Optics
  • Particle imaging
  • Velocimetry
  • Higher laser power capabilities
  • Higher damage threshold
  • Amplified signal for detection
  • Reduced wavelength attenuation losses
  • Simplified alignment
  • Reduced external noises

Development Stage:

Inventors: Ilko Ilev, Ronald Robinson, Ronald Waynant


  • IK Ilev and RW Waynant. Grazing-incidence-based hollow taper for infrared laser-to-fiber coupling. Appl Phys Lett. 1999 May;74(20):2921-2923. PMID: 25362372
  • IK Ilev and RW Waynant. Uncoated hollow taper as a simple optical funnel for laser delivery. Rev Sci Instrum. 1999 Oct;70(10):3840-3843. Link
  • IK Ilev et al. Ultraviolet laser delivery using an uncoated hollow taper. IEEE J Quantum Electron. 2000 Aug;36(8):944-948. Link
  • IK Ilev et al. Attenuation measurement of infrared optical fibers using a hollow-taper-based coupling method. Appl Opt. 2000 Jul 1;39(19):3192-6. PMID: 18349883

Intellectual Property:
United States Patent No. 7,787,106 issued 08.31.2010

Product Area:  laser, optics, particle imaging, velocimetry

FDA Reference No: E-2006-001

Licensing Contact:
FDA Technology Transfer Program
Email: FDAInventionlicensing@fda.hhs.gov 

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