Home Technology Researchers invented glasses-free 3D holograms using graphene

Researchers invented glasses-free 3D holograms using graphene

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Three dimensional holographic images and floating displays outside a screen have long been a favorite of science fiction films like from the rescue message carried by R2-D2 in Star Wars to the holographic maps in Avatar. But in real life, its very difficult to achieve the same effect without the use of annoying 3D glasses.
Now researchers at Swinburne University of Technology have shown the
capacity of a technique using graphene oxide and complex laser physics
to create a full-colour, pop-up, 3D floating display  without the need for 3D glasses.
Basically the effect was created using Graphene, a two dimensional carbon material with extraordinary
electronic and optical properties that offers a new material platform
for next-generation nanophototonic (touch-screen surface of smartphones or watches) devices.
Holograms work by bending light off the screen in a carefully controlled
way so that, instead of bouncing directly back into your eye, it makes
it appear as though it’s projected off a separate display.

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The researchers from Swinburne were able to create the floating 3D display by
tweaking the refractive index – the measure of how much light bends as
it passes through a medium – of graphene oxide. This allowed them to
create tiny, nanoscale pixels that make up floating 3D images, visible
to the naked eye.

“If you can change the refractive index you can create lots of optical effects,” said Gu in a press release.
“Our technique can be leveraged to achieve compact and versatile
optical components for controlling light. We can create the wide angle
display necessary for mobile phones and tablets.”

More important, the process doesn’t involve any heating or change in
temperature, and instead relies on a rapidly pulsing laser beam to reduce the graphene oxide, which causes the change in the way the light bends. So far the researchers have only been able to get graphene to display images up to 1 centimetre.
Professor Gu said this new generation digital holographic 3D technology also has applications for military devices, entertainment, remote education and medical diagnosis.
The team’s research have been published today in Nature Communications, and we’re already getting excited about the future of Apple Watches and iPhones with 3D displays.

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