Patents by Inventor Patrick R. Fleming

Patrick R. Fleming has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 7738763
    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.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Olester Benson, Jr., James C. Breister, Robert L. Brott, Yeun-Jong Chou, Patrick R. Fleming, William J. Kopecky, Diane North, Roger J. Stumo, Kristin L. Thunhorst, Bruce B. Wilson
  • Publication number: 20100027956
    Abstract: Methods of fabricating optical elements that are encapsulated in monolithic matrices. The present invention is based, at least in one aspect, upon the concept of using multiphoton, multi-step photocuring to fabricate encapsulated optical element(s) within a body of a photopolymerizable composition. Imagewise, multiphoton polymerization techniques are used to form the optical element. The body surrounding the optical element is also photohardened by blanket irradiation and/or thermal curing to help form an encapsulating structure. In addition, the composition also incorporates one or more other, non-diffusing binder components that may be thermosetting or thermoplastic. The end result is an encapsulated structure with good hardness, durability, dimensional stability, resilience, and toughness.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 21, 2009
    Publication date: February 4, 2010
    Inventors: Robert J. DeVoe, Catherine A. Leatherdale, Jeffrey M. Florczak, Patrick R. Fleming, John E. Potts
  • Patent number: 7601484
    Abstract: Methods of fabricating optical elements that are encapsulated in monolithic matrices. The present invention is based, at least in one aspect, upon the concept of using multiphoton, multi-step photocuring to fabricate encapsulated optical element(s) within a body of a photopolymerizable composition. Imagewise, multi-photon polymerization techniques are used to form the optical element. The body surrounding the optical element is also photohardened by blanket irradiation and/or thermal curing to help form an encapsulating structure. In addition, the composition also incorporates one or more other, non-diffusing binder components that may be thermosetting or thermoplastic. The end result is an encapsulated structure with good hardness, durability, dimensional stability, resilience, and toughness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2009
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Robert J. DeVoe, Catherine A. Leatherdale, Jeffrey M. Florczak, Patrick R. Fleming, John E. Potts
  • Publication number: 20090251776
    Abstract: A polarizing film is made of multilayer polarizing fibers embedded within a matrix. The fibers are formed with layers of at least a first and a second polymer material. Layers of the first polymer material are disposed between layers of the second polymer material. At least one of the first and second polymer materials is birefringent. In some embodiments the thickness of the layers of at least one of the materials varies across the fiber, and may include layers are selected as quarter-wavelength thickness for light having a wavelength of more than 700 nm.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2006
    Publication date: October 8, 2009
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Gregory L. Bluem, Robert L. Brott, Patrick R. Fleming, Joan M. Frankel, Shandon D. Hart, William J. Kopecky, Huiwen Tai, Margaret M. Vogel-Martin, Daniel J. Zillig
  • Patent number: 7599592
    Abstract: A polarizing film is made of multilayer polarizing fibers embedded within a matrix. The fibers are formed with layers of at least a first and a second polymer material. Layers of the first polymer material are disposed between layers of the second polymer material. At least one of the first and second polymer materials is birefringent. Where the fibers are non-circular in cross-section, the cross-section can be oriented within the polarizer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2009
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Olester Benson, Jr., Robert L. Brott, Patrick R. Fleming, Shandon D. Hart, Andrew J. Ouderkirk
  • Publication number: 20090127238
    Abstract: A system for generating a laser machined tool from a substantially cylindrical work piece. The system includes a laser producing a laser beam, a mask positioned within the laser beam for shaping the laser beam into an image, and an optical system for imaging the laser beam image onto the outer surface of the work piece. The system coordinates rotational and translation movements of the work piece with activation of the laser in order to use the laser image for ablating the outer surface of the work piece, creating microstructures within the surface of the work piece to form the cylindrical tool.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 16, 2007
    Publication date: May 21, 2009
    Inventors: Thomas R. Corrigan, Patrick R. Fleming
  • Patent number: 7526164
    Abstract: A polarizer is formed with an arrangement of polymer fibers substantially parallel within a polymer matrix. The polymer fibers are formed of at least first and second polymer materials. At least one of the polymer matrix and the first and second polymer materials is birefringent, and provides a birefringent interface with the adjacent material. Light is reflected and/or scattered at the birefringent interfaces with sensitivity to the polarization of the light. In some embodiments, the polymer fibers are formed as composite fibers, having a plurality of scattering polymer fibers disposed within a filler to form the composite fiber. In other embodiments, the polymer fiber is a multilayered polymer fiber. The polymer fibers may be arranged within the polymer matrix as part of a fiber weave.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2009
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Richard C. Allen, Patrick R. Fleming, Diane North, Andrew T. Ruff, Kristin L. Thunhorst
  • Publication number: 20080274293
    Abstract: A spiral wound fiber that includes birefringent interfaces is useful in different optical devices. One type of wound fiber includes at least first and second material layers. At least one of the layers is polymeric and at least one of the layers is birefringent. The spiral wound fiber may be used alone, or in an optical device. Such an optical device can include the fiber embedded within a matrix or attached to a substrate. The spiral wound fiber can be made by rolling a stack of at least two layers, by coextruding the two layers or by coating a rotating form.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2006
    Publication date: November 6, 2008
    Inventors: Shandon D. Hart, William J. Kopecky, Patrick R. Fleming, Kristin L. Thunhorst
  • Patent number: 7406239
    Abstract: A polarizer is formed with an arrangement of polymer fibers substantially parallel within a polymer matrix. The polymer fibers are formed of at least first and second polymer materials. At least one of the polymer matrix and the first and second polymer materials is birefringent, and provides a birefringent interface with the adjacent material. Light is reflected and/or scattered at the birefringent interfaces with sensitivity to the polarization of the light. In some embodiments, the polymer fibers are formed as composite fibers, having a plurality of scattering polymer fibers disposed within a filler to form the composite fiber. In other embodiments, the polymer fiber is a multilayered polymer fiber. The polymer fibers may be arranged within the polymer matrix as part of a fiber weave.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2008
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Richard C. Allen, Olester Benson, Jr., James C. Breister, Yeun-Jong Chou, Patrick R. Fleming, William J. Kopecky, Diane North, Roger J. Stumo, Kristin L. Thunhorst, Bruce B. Wilson, Harold E. Rude
  • Publication number: 20080165419
    Abstract: A polarizer is formed with an arrangement of polymer fibers substantially parallel within a polymer matrix. The polymer fibers are formed of at least first and second polymer materials. At least one of the polymer matrix and the first and second polymer materials is birefringent, and provides a birefringent interface with the adjacent material. Light is reflected and/or scattered at the birefringent interfaces with sensitivity to the polarization of the light. In some embodiments, the polymer fibers are formed as composite fibers, having a plurality of scattering polymer fibers disposed within a filler to form the composite fiber. In other embodiments, the polymer fiber is a multilayered polymer fiber. The polymer fibers may be arranged within the polymer matrix as part of a fiber weave.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 18, 2008
    Publication date: July 10, 2008
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Richard C. Allen, Patrick R. Fleming, Diane North, Andrew T. Ruff, Kristin L. Thunhorst
  • Publication number: 20080152282
    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.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2008
    Publication date: June 26, 2008
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Olester Benson, James C. Breister, Robert L. Brott, Yeun-Jong Chou, Patrick R. Fleming, William J. Kopecky, Diane North, Roger J. Stumo, Kristin L. Thunhorst, Bruce B. Wilson
  • Publication number: 20080151372
    Abstract: An optical film has a first layer and a second layer. The first and second layers each include fibers embedded within respective polymeric matrices. A third layer having a reflective polarizer layer is mounted between the first and second layers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2008
    Publication date: June 26, 2008
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Olester Benson, Timothy J. Hebrink, Shandon D. Hart, Kristin L. Thunhorst, Patrick R. Fleming
  • Patent number: 7386212
    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.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2008
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Olester Benson, Jr., Robert L. Brott, Patrick R. Fleming, Catherine A. Leatherdale, Terence D. Neavin, Diane North
  • Patent number: 7362943
    Abstract: An optical element is formed by co-extruding to have an arrangement of polymer scattering fibers within a polymer matrix. The scattering fibers lie substantially parallel to a first axis. The scattering fibers are arranged at positions across the cross-section of the polymer matrix to scatter light transversely incident on the optical element in a direction substantially orthogonal to the first axis. The positions of the scattering fibers across the cross-section of the optical element may be selected so as to form a two-dimensional photonic crystal structure for light transversely incident on the optical element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Olester Benson, Jr., Robert L. Brott, Patrick R. Fleming, Catherine A. Leatherdale, Terence D. Neavin, Diane North
  • Patent number: 7356229
    Abstract: A polarizer is formed with an arrangement of polymer fibers substantially parallel within a polymer matrix. The polymer fibers are formed of at least first and second polymer materials. At least one of the polymer matrix and the first and second polymer materials is birefringent, and provides a birefringent interface with the adjacent material. Light is reflected and/or scattered at the birefringent interfaces with sensitivity to the polarization of the light. In some embodiments, the polymer fibers are formed as composite fibers, having a plurality of scattering polymer fibers disposed within a filler to form the composite fiber. In other embodiments, the polymer fiber is a multilayered polymer fiber. The polymer fibers may be arranged within the polymer matrix as part of a fiber weave.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2008
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Richard C Allen, Patrick R. Fleming, Diane North, Andrew T. Ruff, Kristin L. Thunhorst
  • Patent number: 7356231
    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.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2008
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Olester Benson, Jr., James C. Breister, Robert L. Brott, Yeun-Jong Chou, Patrick R. Fleming, William J. Kopecky, Diane North, Roger J. Stumo, Kristin L. Thunhorst, Bruce B. Wilson
  • Publication number: 20080055724
    Abstract: A display system has a display panel and at least one light source for producing light to illuminate the display panel. A polarizer film may be employed between the display panel and the light source. At least one of the polarizing fibers has multiple internal birefringent interfaces between a first polymer material and a second polymer material. In some embodiments, the polarizer substantially reflects normally incident light in a first polarization state and substantially transmits normally incident light, in a second polarization state orthogonal to the first polarization state, with a haze value of at least 10%.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2006
    Publication date: March 6, 2008
    Inventors: Gregory L. Bluem, Huiwen Tai, Patrick R. Fleming, Daniel J. Zillig, Joan M. Frankel, Robert L. Brott, William J. Kopecky, Shandon D. Hart, Kristin L. Thunhorst
  • Publication number: 20080057277
    Abstract: A polarizing film is made of multilayer polarizing fibers embedded within a matrix. The fibers are formed with layers of at least a first and a second polymer material. Layers of the first polymer material are disposed between layers of the second polymer material. At least one of the first and second polymer materials is birefringent. In some embodiments the thickness of the layers of at least one of the materials varies across the fiber. The fibers are be embedded within a material having a lower refractive index than either the first or second polymer material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2006
    Publication date: March 6, 2008
    Inventors: Gregory L. Bluem, Robert L. Brott, Patrick R. Fleming, Joan M. Frankel, Shandon D. Hart, William J. Kopecky, Huiwen Tai, Kristin L. Thunhorst, Daniel J. Zillig
  • Publication number: 20080057278
    Abstract: A polarizing film is made of multilayer polarizing fibers embedded within a matrix. The fibers are formed with layers of at least a first and a second polymer material. Layers of the first polymer material are disposed between layers of the second polymer material. At least one of the first and second polymer materials is birefringent. Where the fibers are non-circular in cross-section, the cross-section can be oriented within the polarizer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2006
    Publication date: March 6, 2008
    Inventors: Olester Benson, Robert L. Brott, Patrick R. Fleming, Shandon D. Hart, Andrew J. Ouderkirk
  • Patent number: 7327923
    Abstract: A spiral wound fiber that includes birefringent interfaces is useful in different optical devices. One type of wound fiber includes at least first and second material layers. At least one of the layers is polymeric and at least one of the layers is birefringent. The spiral wound fiber may be used alone, or in an optical device. Such an optical device can include the fiber embedded within a matrix or attached to a substrate. The spiral wound fiber can be made by rolling a stack of at least two layers, by coextruding the two layers or by coating a rotating form.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2008
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Shandon D. Hart, Keith M. Kotchick, William J. Kopecky, Patrick R. Fleming, Kristin L. Thunhorst