Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New hologram technology created with tiny nanoantennas

15.11.2013
Researchers have created tiny holograms using a "metasurface" capable of the ultra-efficient control of light, representing a potential new technology for advanced sensors, high-resolution displays and information processing.

The metasurface, thousands of V-shaped nanoantennas formed into an ultrathin gold foil, could make possible "planar photonics" devices and optical switches small enough to be integrated into computer chips for information processing, sensing and telecommunications, said Alexander Kildishev, associate research professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University.


Researchers have created tiny holograms using a "metasurface" capable of the ultra-efficient control of light, representing a potential new technology for advanced sensors, high-resolution displays and information processing. To demonstrate the technology, researchers created a hologram of the word PURDUE smaller than 100 microns wide, or roughly the width of a human hair. (Xingjie Ni, Birck Nanotechnology Center) A publication-quality image is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/2013/kildishev-hologram.jpg

Credit: (Xingjie Ni, Birck Nanotechnology Center)


Laser light shines through the metasurface from below, creating a hologram 10 microns above the structure. (Xingjie Ni, Birck Nanotechnology Center) A publication-quality image is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/2013/kildishev-hologram2.jpg

Credit: (Xingjie Ni, Birck Nanotechnology Center)

Laser light shines through the nanoantennas, creating the hologram 10 microns above the metasurface. To demonstrate the technology, researchers created a hologram of the word PURDUE smaller than 100 microns wide, or roughly the width of a human hair.

"If we can shape characters, we can shape different types of light beams for sensing or recording, or for example pixels for 3-D displays. Another potential application is the transmission and processing of data inside chips for information technology," Kildishev said. "The smallest features -- the strokes of the letters -- displayed in our experiment are only 1 micron wide. This is a quite remarkable spatial resolution."

Findings are detailed in a research paper appearing on Friday (Nov. 15) in the journal Nature Communications.

Metasurfaces could make it possible to use single photons -- the particles that make up light -- for switching and routing in future computers. While using photons would dramatically speed up computers and telecommunications, conventional photonic devices cannot be miniaturized because the wavelength of light is too large to fit in tiny components needed for integrated circuits. Nanostructured metamaterials, however, are making it possible to reduce the wavelength of light, allowing the creation of new types of nanophotonic devices, said Vladimir M. Shalaev, scientific director of nanophotonics at Purdue's Birck Nanotechnology Center and a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering.

"The most important thing is that we can do this with a very thin layer, only 30 nanometers, and this is unprecedented," Shalaev said. "This means you can start to embed it in electronics, to marry it with electronics."

The layer is about 1/23rd the width of the wavelength of light used to create the holograms.

The Nature Communications article was co-authored by former Purdue doctoral student Xingjie Ni, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley; Kildishev; and Shalaev.

Under development for about 15 years, metamaterials owe their unusual potential to precision design on the scale of nanometers. Optical nanophotonic circuits might harness clouds of electrons called "surface plasmons" to manipulate and control the routing of light in devices too tiny for conventional lasers.

The researchers have shown how to control the intensity and phase – or timing – of laser light as it passes through the nanoantennas. Each antenna has its own "phase delay" -- how much light is slowed as it passes through the structure. Controlling the intensity and phase is essential for creating working devices and can be achieved by altering the V-shaped antennas.

The work is partially supported by U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Army research Office, and the National Science Foundation. Purdue has filed a provisional patent application on the concept.

Writer: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, venere@purdue.edu
Sources: Alexander Kildishev, 765-496-3196, kildishev@purdue.edu
Vladimir Shalaev, 765-494-9855, shalaev@ecn.purdue.edu
Related website:
Birck Nanotechnology Center:
http://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/nanotechnology/
ABSTRACT
Metasurface holograms for visible light
Xingjie Ni, Alexander V. Kildishev and Vladimir M. Shalaev
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Holography, a revolutionary 3D imaging technique, has been developed for storing and recovering the amplitude and phase of light scattered by objects. Later, single-beam computer-generated phase holography was proposed for restoring the wavefront from a given incidence. However, because the phase modulation depends on the light propagation inside the material, the thickness of phase holograms usually remains comparable to the wavelength. Here we experimentally demonstrate ultra-thin metasurface holograms that operate in the visible range whose thickness is only 30 nm (approximately 1/23 of the operational wavelength). To our knowledge, this is the thinnest hologram that can provide both amplitude and phase modulation in the visible wavelength range, which generates high-resolution low-noise images. Using this technique, not only the phase, but potentially the amplitude of the incident wave can be efficiently controlled–expanding the route to new applications of ultra-thin and surface-confined photonic devices.

Note to Journalists: A copy of the article is available by contacting Nature at press@nature.com or calling (212) 726-9231. (check phone number)

Emil Venere | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.purdue.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Did you know that the wrapping of Easter eggs benefits from specialty light sources?
13.04.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

nachricht To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>