Sci-Fi Visions

Real-time holographic displays one step closer to reality

  • Currently, the development of holographic displays is limited by technology that can allow control of all the properties of light at the level of individual pixels. A hologram encodes a large amount of optical information, and a dynamic representation of a holographic image requires vast amounts of information to be modulated on a display device.
  • Williams and his colleagues have achieved a much greater level of control over holograms through plasmonics: the study of how light interacts with metals on the nanoscale. Through integration with liquid crystals, in the form of typical pixel architecture, the researchers were able to actively switch which hologram is excited and there which output image is selected.
  • The work highlights the opportunity for utilising the plasmonic properties of optical antennas to enable multi-functional pixel elements for next generation holographic display technologies. Scaling up these pixels would mean a display would have the ability to encode switchable amplitude, wavelength and polarisation information, a stark contrast to conventional pixel technology.

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