WARF: P120024US01

Monolithic Fiber Optic Sensor Assembly for High-Temperature or Corrosive Environments


Scott Sanders

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing an improved sensor system for providing spectrographic information about high-temperature or corrosive environments.
OVERVIEWRemote spectrographic measurements can be made using a fiber optic guide attached to a “U-bench,” an optical component that supports a light emitter opposite from a light collector or a mirror across a gap. Gases allowed to pass within the gap in the optical component absorb frequencies of the light and create a spectrographic signature that can be analyzed.

Precise alignment of the optical elements in the U-bench is required to construct a functioning sensor. The necessary alignment can be achieved with precise machining and a separate alignment and fixation step.

The study and control of chemical reactions are important in high-temperature environments such as internal combustion engines, coal gasifiers or high-temperature process furnaces, but the epoxies used in the alignment and fixation of the U-bench optical elements normally are not compatible with high temperatures or corrosive environments. As a result, construction of U-bench type sensors for these applications can be time-consuming and expensive. An improved fiber optic sensor assembly that functions in high-temperature or corrosive environments is needed.
THE INVENTIONA UW–Madison researcher has developed a high-temperature U-bench sensor constructed from monolithic optical ceramic material. The supporting structure of the sensor and elements such as two opposed lenses or an opposed lens and mirror are constructed of compatible materials and fused together. The material provides a system robust against high temperatures and temperature changes that might affect precision optical alignment or cause mechanical failure in more traditional sensors.
  • Spectrographic analysis in high-temperature and corrosive environments
  • Provides resistance to high-temperature and corrosive environments
  • Enables fabrication using readily available materials
  • Maintains optical alignment and integrity through temperature swings
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at or 608-960-9842.
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