Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Doped liquid crystals allow real time holography

21.10.2003


The addition of buckyballs or carbon nanotubes to nematic liquid crystals changes their properties and makes them low-cost alternatives for holographic and image processing applications, according to Penn State electrical engineers.



"By incorporating nanotubular and nano carbon 60 structures into liquid crystals, we make the nonlinear optical properties a million times bigger than all other existing materials," says Dr. Iam-Choon Khoo, professor of electrical engineering.

Khoo, working with Jim Ding, Yana Zhang, Ken Chen and Andres Diaz, dissolved carbon nanotubes in a liquid crystal.


"We know it is dissolving because there is a color change," says Khoo.

They also dissolved carbon 60 or buckyballs into the liquid crystals. While the tubes produce slightly more of an optical effect, they are more difficult to dissolve in the liquid crystal. In fact, only about one one-thousandth of the liquid crystal mixture is carbon nanotubes.

The addition of these carbon structures alters the crystalline alignment of the liquid crystals and changes the optical properties. Just as some materials react to an electrical current, these doped liquid crystals react to light. The liquid crystal, when exposed to light, changes its axis of refraction.

"A basic problem with these materials is their rather slow buildup times, which are typically in the tens of seconds to minutes for low optical illumination intensity," the researchers reported in Applied Physics Letters. "With suitable choice of dopants and applied fields, . . . these films are on the supranonlinear scale. These values are a thousand times larger than those observed previously. Furthermore, the response times of these effects can be improved to the millisecond time scale."

One image processing application where this doped liquid crystal film can be used is in focusing optical telescopes. Using the film as the capture material for a holographic image of the starfield, the garbage created by optically viewing very distant and weak stars can be eliminated and a holographic view of the starfield in real-time provided.

"Right now the device that is used in the telescope application is very, very expensive, but this film costs only a few pennies," says Khoo. "It would cost a thousand times less."

These films can also be use to create real-time holographic movies and can also be used in low light situations as they are very sensitive to light.

"Another application would be to convert, in real time, an image captured in infra red, to a visible light image," the Penn State researcher notes.

Other potential uses include filling hollow fiber optic fibers with the liquid crystal to control light pulses in the fiber and create a tunable nonlinear photonic crystal fiber.

"At Cambridge, researchers are using the material to make a Dick Tracy type watch," says Khoo. "A watch that can process images and communications."

A’ndrea Elyse Messer | Penn State
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu/

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Electron tomography technique leads to 3-D reconstructions at the nanoscale
24.05.2018 | The Optical Society

nachricht These could revolutionize the world
24.05.2018 | Vanderbilt 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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>