Hologram breakthrough could see integration with electronic devices

Hologram breakthrough could see integration with electronic devices
Holograms are more commonly the realm of sci-fi films but thanks to work from universities in Australia and China we could see them integrated into devices including smart phones and TVs.

A group of researchers from Australia’s RMIT and the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) have reported the creation of the world’s thinnest hologram in science journal Nature.

The team, led by RMIT University’s Distinguished Professor Min Gu has designed a nano-hologram that is simple to make, can be seen without 3D glasses and is 1000 times thinner than a human hair.

“Conventional computer-generated holograms are too big for electronic devices but our ultrathin hologram overcomes those size barriers,” Gu said in an article on the RMIT website.

“Our nano-hologram is also fabricated using a simple and fast direct laser writing system, which makes our design suitable for large-scale uses and mass manufacture.

“Integrating holography into everyday electronics would make screen size irrelevant – a pop-up 3D hologram can display a wealth of data that doesn’t neatly fit on a phone or watch.

"From medical diagnostics to education, data storage, defence and cyber security, 3D holography has the potential to transform a range of industries and this research brings that revolution one critical step closer.”

The team is already planning how to move the research closer to a real world application. However that involves making the hologram – which has as broken previously recorded thickness limits – much thinner. 

Dr Zengji Yue, who co-authored the paper with BIT’s Gaolei Xue, said: “The next stage for this research will be developing a rigid thin film that could be laid onto an LCD screen to enable 3D holographic display. This involves shrinking our nano-hologram’s pixel size, making it at least 10 times smaller.

“But beyond that, we are looking to create flexible and elastic thin films that could be used on a whole range of surfaces, opening up the horizons of holographic applications.”

[Via RMIT]

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