World’s Thinnest Hologram Created

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world’s thinnest hologram.

Team led by RMIT University’s Distinguished Professor Min Gu has designed a nano-hologram that is simple to make, can be seen without 3D goggles and is 1000 times thinner than a human hair.

Conventional holograms modulate the phase of light to give the illusion of three-dimensional depth. But to generate enough phase shifts, those holograms need to be at the thickness of optical wavelengths.

The RMIT research team, working with the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), has broken this thickness limit with a 25 nanometre hologram based on a topological insulator material — a novel quantum material that holds the low refractive index in the surface layer but the ultrahigh refractive index in the bulk.

The topological insulator thin film acts as an intrinsic optical resonant cavity, which can enhance the phase shifts for holographic imaging.

It will pave the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday electronics like smart phones, computers and TVs.