'World's Thinnest Hologram' Technology Will Bring 3D Displays to Phones

A research team from Australia's RMIT University say they have created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday electronics. The nano-hologram can be seen without 3D glasses and was fabricated with a direct laser writing system, making the design suitable for large-scale manufacturing. "Integrating holography into everyday electronics would make screen size irrelevant – a pop-up 3D hologram can display a wealth of data that doesn't neatly fit on a phone or watch," says team leader Min Gu. Conventional holograms modulate the phase of light to give the illusion of three-dimensional depth, and to generate enough phase shifts, those holograms need to be at the thickness of optical wavelengths. The RMIT research team overcame this thickness limit with a 25-nanometer 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 team's next step will be developing a rigid thin film that could be laid onto an LCD screen to enable 3D holographic display.