Corning Scientists Recognized by the American Chemical Society for work on Optical Fiber

Aug 22 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Corning scientists Drs. Dana Bookbinder, Ming-Jun Li and Pushkar Tandon were recently recognized by the American Chemical Society (ACS) as recipients of the 2017 Heroes of Chemistry award for inventing a technology which enabled Corning® ClearCurve® optical fibers, a revolutionary product that enables optical fiber to be bent to small diameters or around very tight corners with significantly less signal loss. The scientists were recognized as one of six companies receiving this award from ACS at its annual Heroes of Chemistry celebration.

In addition to the scientists receiving their awards, Dr. Gary Calabrese, senior vice president, Global Research also accepted the corporate award on behalf of Corning. During his remarks, Gary congratulated the three scientists on this tremendous achievement.

“I can’t think of three scientists more deserving of this recognition. Thank you for all that you’ve done for Corning and what you will continue to do for us in the future.”

Corning has been in the business of optical communications for more than four decades. In 1970, Corning inventors Bob Maurer, Don Keck and Peter Schultz invented the first low-loss optical fiber that revolutionized global telecommunications, and enabled emerging communications applications, including the Internet.

“The original invention helped lay the groundwork for long-haul fiber to span across oceans and countries, but the challenge was bringing fiber into homes and data centers,” said Dana Bookbinder, Corporate Fellow. “To bring fiber into buildings and data centers, it needed to be in smaller cables and routed to different places. This was a problem because when the fiber was bent, light would escape resulting in data loss.”

In the early 2000s, Dana, Ming and Pushkar began collaborating on a new type of optical fiber. By building off the earlier work of Maurer, Keck and Schultz, and leveraging their individual skillsets and Corning’s decades of optical fiber research, their collaboration led to the development of what would become an industry-changing solution – ClearCurve optical fiber.

The three scientists have always had a great working relationship, often running ideas by each other for advice, and this time was no different. Dana took an idea he had to Ming and Pushkar, and together they began working on it.