18 August 2010 Optical properties of a retro-reflection fiber cross section formed via tri-component fiber extrusion
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A retro-reflection, polymer fiber cross section is fabricated using a tri-component fiber extruder. The fiber cross section is comprised of a series of right angles. The right angles are retro-reflection features that run the entire length of the fiber. The retro-reflective features are formed by an extrusion process where the polymer fiber material is forced through a series of plates resulting in the cross section having the desired shape. Because the fiber cross sectional features form naturally by intersecting chords, the features scale naturally and have a tendency to maintain their form when the fiber is drawn to the desired diameter. Alternating the indices of refraction of the cross-sectional features allows for the realization of a number of unique and useful optical effects. The fiber cross section exhibits refraction and diffraction qualities as well as retro-reflection properties. As such, it exhibits prismatic and multiple-order diffraction interference. Hence, the fiber appears colorful when illuminated with white light. The colors can be controlled by a number of means: for example by the inclusion of dyes, nanoparticles, and by post-processing applications of thin films.
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Francisco J. Aranda, Francisco J. Aranda, Jeffrey Perry, Jeffrey Perry, Deana Archambault, Deana Archambault, Lauren Belton, Lauren Belton, Joel Carlson, Joel Carlson, David Ziegler, David Ziegler, Brian Kimball, Brian Kimball, } "Optical properties of a retro-reflection fiber cross section formed via tri-component fiber extrusion", Proc. SPIE 7781, Photonic Fiber and Crystal Devices: Advances in Materials and Innovations in Device Applications IV, 778107 (18 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.859298; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.859298

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