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 Nano-scale process may speed arrival of cheaper hi-tech products
09.11.2018 | University of Edinburgh

nachricht Nuclear fusion: wrestling with burning questions on the control of 'burning plasmas'
25.10.2018 | Lehigh University

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: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>