Rigid, Fused Fiber Optics: Components and Applications
As the world’s largest provider of rigid, fused fiber optics, INCOM has worked with OEM manufacturers in numerous technological fields, from life sciences to medical to dental equipment. As fiber optic technology continues to advance, its usefulness spreads to even more aspects of our daily lives: The defense industry uses fiber optic night vision goggles to avoid danger and see opportunity; new drugs are developed more quickly with high-speed DNA analysis using microarray plates; digital mammography, full chest X-rays, and whole body scans are now possible because of larger fiber optic faceplates. Some current applications of INCOM’s technology and capabilities are listed below.
Faceplates: INCOM’s faceplates are used in medical digital X-ray equipment in order to provide a link and a radiation barrier between X-ray sources and sensitive semiconductor detectors. Images are transmitted in fine detail, yet potentially damaging X-rays are blocked. Digital X-rays have also come into use in the dental field, with the same technology allowing for panoramic X-rays of jaws and teeth. Small faceplates also serve as compact X-ray sensors that fit into the mouth to accomplish intraoral scans. INCOM’s faceplates can also be found in defense industry equipment, such as night vision systems, military cameras, and heads-up displays.
Tapers: Through our proprietary technology, INCOM has the ability to create the world’s largest tapers, up to 200mm in diameter. These tapers are also used in digital detectors to identify changes in protein structures produced in particle accelerators, thus guiding the development of new, life-saving drugs. This form of X-ray crystallography depends on INCOM’s largest tapers to capture huge imaging areas with very high resolution. The medical field also makes use of INCOM’s tapers: When coupled with a CCD camera, our tapers allow for analysis of highly sensitive digital X-rays, such as those needed for mammography. In arthroscopic and mobile X-ray equipment, INCOM tapers link the intensifier to the sensor, allowing for continuous flouroscopy. The U.S. military’s 65,000 Abrams tanks have an INCOM fiber optic taper for image intensification.
Fiber Optic Microwell Plates: These plates represent a new class of INCOM technnology: transforming conventional fiber optic faceplates into three-dimensional glass microstructures with dense patterns of miniature wells. The high sample density allows for thousands of simultaneous reactions in the space of an ordinary labratory slide, saving time and money in studying complex test variables. With INCOM’s fiber optic capabilities, the time spent mapping the human genome conceivably could have been shortened from years to months.
Raw Materials: INCOM also offers raw fiber optics materials for sale. Vendors include SGT, Incom, GE, Schott Corp., and Gerresheimer. Click here for more information.