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Hollow Waveguide Laser Delivery System for Digital Particle Image Velocity

Available for licensing and commercial development is an all-hollow-waveguide laser delivery system used for effective digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV) illumination. The system incorporates two key optical hollow waveguide components: an uncoated funnel-shaped hollow glass taper for a direct laser-to-taper coupling and a flexible hollow core waveguide for precise high-peak-power laser delivery. The principle of operation of the uncoated hollow taper is based on grazing-incidence effect. The optical taper is used for direct lens-free launching of laser radiation including from powerful lasers into fibers and waveguides. Because of the mutual action of the direct parallel laser excitation, the mode coupling process and mode filtering effect, the hollow taper serves as a mode converter that transforms the highly multimode profile of the input laser emission into a high-quality Gaussian-shaped profile at the taper output. Moreover, because of the lower power density of the output laser beam and its high quality profile, the taper ensures higher damage threshold for the delivery waveguide in comparison to the conventional lens laser-to-fiber coupling. To improve the high-peak-power delivery capability of the proposed all-hollow-waveguide DPIV illumination system, instead of a conventional solid-core fiber link, we have used a cyclic olefin polymer (COP)-coated hollow glass waveguide which is designed to minimize the waveguide attenuation losses at a typical DPIV laser wavelength of 532-nm. This waveguide provides a significantly higher laser power delivery capability and higher damage threshold. The all-hollow-waveguide DPIV laser delivery system offers essential advanced features over conventional bulk-optics-based delivery techniques in terms of formatting thin (0.5-1.0 mm), wide (10 mm or wider) and uniform laser illumination sheet; high-peak-power laser delivery without damaging effects (>1 GW/cm2), flexibility, miniaturization, simplified alignment, immunity to external influence (including vibrations and angular laser beam drift), and safe and confined laser delivery.

Potential Commercial Applications:

  • Optics
  • Particle imaging
  • Velocimetry

Competitive Advantages:



Ilko Ilev
Ronald Robinson
Ronald Waynant

Intellectual Property:
US Patent No. 7,787,106

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.
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.
IK Ilev et al. Ultraviolet laser delivery using an uncoated hollow taper. IEEE J Quantum Electron. 2000 Aug;36(8):944-948.
IK Ilev et al. Attenuation measurement of infrared optical fibers using a hollow-taper-based coupling method. Appl Opt. 2000 Jul;39(19):3192-3196.
RA Robinson and IK Ilev. Design and optimization of a flexible high-peak power laser-to-fiber coupled illumination system used in digital particle image velocimetry. Rev Sci Instrum. 2004 Nov;75(11):4856-4862.

Collaboration Opportunity:
The Food and Drug Administration's Center for Devices and Radiological Health is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize this technology. Please contact the inventors at 301-827-4685 for more information.

Licensing Contact:
Bill Ronnenberg, JD-MIP, MS
FDA Technology Transfer Program
10903 New Hampshire Ave.
Building WO1, Rm 4214
Silver Spring, MD 20993
Email: FDAInventionlicensing@fda.hhs.gov
Phone: 240-402-4561

OTT Reference No: E-015-2006/0
Updated: August 9, 2015