If you haven‘t seen something absolutely amazing in technological world today, here‘s your chance. Scientists have just developed the thinnest hologram ever, which eventually might make its way to smartphones, tablets and wearable electronics. This is the first step towards making science fiction movies a reality.
If there is something that all science fiction movies have in common, it’s got to be holograms. They are everywhere and are usually used as displays. Current technologies do not allow that, however, but that is about to change. An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world’s thinnest hologram, which could potentially work with our usual electronics. For example, it could expand the capabilities of your smartphone screen or your TV, or your tablet. You think that will make them unbearable expensive? Well, scientists say that it is actually pretty simple to make and should be affordable. Of course, such feature would allow manufacturers to increase their profits, but this article is not about that.
This nano-hologram can be seen without 3D goggles and is 1000 times thinner than a human hair. It is produced through fast direct laser writing system, which is a technology manufacturing world is already familiar with. In fact, it will allow mass producing such holograms very soon. What will it do? The size of the screen simply will not matter anymore as the hologram will pop up displaying all the necessary items at the comfortably sized square. But it is not just for your consumer electronics – it will benefit medical, military, education, cyber security, manufacturing technologies and many other fields.
Current holograms work by modulating the phase of light to give the illusion of three-dimensional depth. It works quite well, but it means that these holograms have to be rather thick – around the thickness of optical wavelengths, which is too much for our electronic devices. Scientists from RMIT University in Australia and Beijing Institute of Technology a topological insulator material, which holds the low refractive index in the surface layer but the ultrahigh refractive index in the bulk. Dr Zengji Yue, co-author of the paper, 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”.
So how about that? Would you want your next smartphone to have a hologram technology in its screen? It would totally change the way we interact with it, make it more exciting and, potentially, a little bit easier.
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