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 Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires
07.12.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>