Patent Number: 7,738,763

Title: Composite polymer fibers

Abstract: A composite polymer fiber comprises a polymer filler material and a plurality of polymer scattering fibers disposed within the filler material. At least one of the filler material and the scattering fibers is formed of a birefringent material. The refractive indices of the filler material and the scattering fibers can be substantially matched for light incident in a first polarization state on the composite polymer fiber and unmatched for light incident in an orthogonal polarization state. The scattering fibers may be arranged to form a photonic crystal within the composite fiber. The composite fibers may be extruded and may be formed into a yarn, a weave or the like. If the filler material is soluble, it may be washed out of the yarn or weave, and the scattering fibers may then be infiltrated with a resin that is subsequently cured.

Inventors: Ouderkirk; Andrew J. (Woodbury, MN), Benson, Jr.; Olester (Woodbury, MN), Breister; James C. (Oakdale, MN), Brott; Robert L. (Woodbury, MN), Chou; Yeun-Jong (Woodbury, MN), Fleming; Patrick R. (Lake Elmo, MN), Kopecky; William J. (Hudson, WI), North; Diane (Inver Grove Heights, MN), Stumo; Roger J. (Shoreview, MN), Thunhorst; Kristin L. (Stillwater, MN), Wilson; Bruce B. (Woodbury, MN)

Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company

International Classification: G02B 6/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 2022-06-15 0:00:00