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1. WO2004055576 - FILAMENT OU FIBRE ELECTRO-OPTIQUE

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. An electro-optic filament or fibre (10) comprising an elongate core (11 ) within a volume (12) of polarisable material, and an outer member (13) overlying the said volume, wherein:
(i) the core (11) and the outer member (13) are electrically conducting and respectively connectable to electrical potentials to generate a field (14) therebetween; and
(ii) the polarisable material (12) exhibits an optical effect when subjected to a said field (14) and/or a change in a said field, the said optical effect being visible or otherwise optically detectable externally of the filament or fibre (10).

2. A filament or fibre according to Claim 1 wherein the outer member (13) is optically transmissive and/or transflective.

3. A filament or fibre according to any preceding claim whose subcomponents are flexible, whereby the filament or fibre (10) is flexible.

4. A filament or fibre according to any preceding claim wherein the core (11 ) is or includes a flexible rod made of or from a material selected from the list including:
an electrically conducting metal;
an electrically conducting polymer;
a polyamide coated with a conducting material; or
combinations of two or more aforesaid materials.

5. A filament or fibre according to any of Claims 1 to 4 wherein the outer member includes a surface adjacent which the said volume lies.

6. A filament or fibre according to any preceding claim wherein the outer member surrounds the said volume.

7. A filament or fibre according to Claim 5 or Claim 6 wherein the outer member and the said volume are adhered one to the other.

8. A filament or fibre, according to Claim 6 or any claim depending from Claim 6, of generally circular cross-section, wherein the core, the said volume and the outer member are generally mutually concentric.

9. A filament or fibre according to any preceding claim wherein the volume (12) of polarisable material includes one or more of:
a liquid crystal material;
a microencapsulated, polarisable ink; or
a "twisting ball" composite.

10. A filament or fibre according to Claim 9 wherein the volume

(12) of polarisable material includes a pigment.

11. A filament or fibre according to Claim 10 wherein the pigment is an inorganic phosphor pigment; titanium dioxide; or a mixture thereof.

12. A filament or fibre according to any preceding claim wherein the resistance of the outer member (13) is inhomogeneous.

13. A filament or fibre according to Claim 11 wherein the inhomogeneity of the resistance of the outer member (13) results from one or more of:
(i) one or more discontinuities (13a) in the material of the outer member (13);
(ii) non-uniformity of the thickness (13b) of the outer member (13);
(iii) non-uniformity of the resistivity of the material of the outer member (13); or (iv) non-uniformity of the composition of the outer member (13).

14. A filament or fibre according to any preceding claim the core (11 ) and/or the outer member (13) of which is operatively connected to an electrical potential that varies in dependence on the output or state of a transducer (T).

15. A self-sustaining structure including one or more filaments or fibres (10) each according to any preceding claim.

16. A structure according to Claim 15 wherein the or each said fibre (10) is interlaced with a further fibre.

17. A structure according to Claim 15 or Claim 16 including a plurality of fibres (10) each according to any of Claims 1 to 13 woven, knitted or crocheted together.

18. A garment including one or more filaments or fibres each according to any of Claims 1 to 14; and/or a structure according to any of Claims 15 to 17.