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UA optical scientists add new, practical dimension to holography
Date:2/6/2008

h a transparent electrode. The images are "written" into the light-sensitive plastic, called a photorefractive polymer, using laser beams and an externally applied electric field. The scientists take pictures of an object or scene from many two-dimensional perspectives as they scan their object, and the holographic display assembles the two-dimensional perspectives into a three-dimensional picture.

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research, which has funded Peyghambarian's team to develop updatable holographic displays, has used holographic displays in the past. But those displays have been static. They did not allow erasing and updating of the images. The new holographic display can show a new image every few minutes.

The four-inch by four-inch prototype display that Peyghambarian, Tay and their colleagues created now comes only in red, but the researchers see no problem with developing much larger displays in full color. They next will make one-foot by one-foot displays, then three-foot by three-foot displays.

"We use highly efficient, low-cost recording materials capable of very large sizes, which is very important for life-size, realistic 3D displays," Peyghambarian said. "We can record complete scenes or objects within three minutes and can store them for three hours."

The researchers also are working to write images even faster using pulsed lasers.

"If you can write faster with a pulsed laser, then you can write larger holograms in the same amount of time it now takes to write smaller ones," Tay said. "We envision this to be a life-size hologram. We could, for example, display an image of a whole human that would be the same size as the actual person."

Tay emphasized how important updatable holographic displays could be for medicine.

"Three-dimensional imaging techniques are already commonly used in medicine, for example, in MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or CAT scan (Computerized Axial Tomogra
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Contact: Lori Stiles
lstiles@email.arizona.edu
520-626-4402
University of Arizona
Source:Eurekalert

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