Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A polarizing view

30.06.2015

A nanostructure design enables pixels to produce two different colors depending on the polarization of the incident light

Through precise structural control, A*STAR researchers have encoded a single pixel with two distinct colors and have used this capability to generate a three-dimensional stereoscopic image1.


A pixel can be encoded with two different colors from a wide color palette using nanostructure arrays illuminated with orthogonally polarized light.

© simon2579/iStock/Thinkstock

Figuring out how to include two types of information in the same area was an enticing challenge for Xiao Ming Goh, Joel Yang and their colleagues at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering. They knew such a capability could help a range of applications, including ultrahigh-definition three-dimensional color displays and state-of-the-art anti-counterfeiting measures. So they set about designing a nanostructure architecture that could provide more ‘bang for the buck’.

Having previously used plasmonic materials to generate color prints at the optical diffraction limit by carefully varying the nanostructure size and spacing, Yang thought polarization would be a promising direction to pursue. “We decided to extend our research to prints that would exhibit different images depending on the polarization of the incident light,” he explains.

The main challenge to overcome was the mixing of colors between polarizations, a phenomenon known as cross-talk. Goh and Yang trialed two aluminum nanostructures as pixel arrays: ellipses and two squares separated by a very small space (known as coupled nanosquare dimers).

Each pixel arrangement had its own pros and cons. While the ellipses offered a broader color range and were easier to pattern than the nanosquare dimers, they also exhibited a slightly higher cross-talk. In contrast, the coupled nanosquare dimers had a lower cross-talk but suffered from a very narrow color range.

Because of their lower cross-talk, the coupled nanosquare dimers were deemed better candidates for encoding two overlaid images on the same area that could be viewed by using different incident polarizations.

While the coupled nanosquare dimers’ color palette could be expanded by varying the width and spacing between adjacent squares in each nanosquare dimer, the ellipses were better for demonstrating the wide color range achievable.

Furthermore, the researchers used these pixel arrays to generate a three-dimensional stereoscopic image. They achieved this by using ellipses as pixel elements, carefully offsetting the images and choosing background colors that minimized cross-talk.

“Being able to print two images onto the same area and, further, generating a three-dimensional stereoscopic image opens up many new avenues for applications,” remarks Goh.

But the possibilities do not end there. Complex nanostructures, including circularly asymmetric shapes, offer many more options. “By employing additional circular polarizations, we could encode multiple images ― that is, not just two, but three or more images in a single area,” Goh explains.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering. More information about the group’s research can be found at the Plasmonic and Semiconductor Nanostructures Laboratory webpage.

Reference
Goh, X. M., Zheng, Y., Tan, S. J., Zhang, L., Kumar, K., Qiu, C.-W. & Yang, J. K. W. Three-dimensional plasmonic stereoscopic prints in full colour. Nature Communications 5, 5361 (2014). | article

A*STAR Research | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/research/7288
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells
01.12.2016 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht New process produces hydrogen at much lower temperature
01.12.2016 | Waseda University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>