nLIGHT has been granted a patent for an apparatus that increases the beam parameter product (bpp) of a laser system. The apparatus includes a fiber splice with a selected tilt angle, allowing for an increase in bpp when propagating the laser beam from one fiber to another. The patent also includes a fiber fixture and tip alignment mechanism for precise alignment during the splicing process. GlobalData’s report on nLIGHT gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on nLIGHT, Welding robots was a key innovation area identified from patents. nLIGHT's grant share as of September 2023 was 44%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Patent granted for apparatus to increase beam parameter product

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: nLIGHT Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11719948B2) describes an apparatus for splicing optical fibers with a selected tilt angle. The apparatus includes a fiber fixture, a fiber tip alignment mechanism, and a splicing mechanism.

The fiber fixture is designed to receive and secure the output end of a first fiber in a first position and the output end of a second fiber in a second position. It consists of a first outer fiber fixture portion for the first fiber and a second outer fiber fixture portion for the second fiber. The first and second outer fiber fixture portions can be offset by a selected height from each other.

The fiber tip alignment mechanism is responsible for aligning the input end of the first fiber with the output end of the second fiber. It comprises a first inner fiber fixture portion and a second inner fiber fixture portion that can be translated in one or more directions. The alignment mechanism may also include cameras to provide a magnified view of the fibers.

The splicing mechanism is used to splice the aligned input and output ends of the fibers, creating a fiber splice with a selected tilt angle. The tilt angle can correspond to the angle between the longitudinal axes of the first and second fibers at the splice or the angles between the output/input surfaces of the fibers and a plane perpendicular to their longitudinal axes.

The apparatus also includes a translation stage that can move the second outer fiber fixture relative to the first outer fiber fixture, creating a selected height offset between their longitudinal axes. Additional translation stages may be present to move the fibers toward and away from each other.

Overall, this patent describes an apparatus that allows for precise alignment and splicing of optical fibers with a selected tilt angle. The ability to control the tilt angle can be beneficial for optimizing beam propagation through the fiber splice.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.