Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Doped Liquid Crystals Allow Real Time Holography

Date:
October 22, 2003
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
The addition of buckyballs or carbon nanotubes to nematic liquid crystals changes their properties and makes them low-cost alternatives for holographic and image processing applications, according to Penn State electrical engineers.

The addition of buckyballs or carbon nanotubes to nematic liquid crystals changes their properties and makes them low-cost alternatives for holographic and image processing applications, according to Penn State electrical engineers.

"By incorporating nanotubular and nano carbon 60 structures into liquid crystals, we make the nonlinear optical properties a million times bigger than all other existing materials," says Dr. Iam-Choon Khoo, professor of electrical engineering.

Khoo, working with Jim Ding, Yana Zhang, Ken Chen and Andres Diaz, dissolved carbon nanotubes in a liquid crystal.

"We know it is dissolving because there is a color change," says Khoo.

They also dissolved carbon 60 or buckyballs into the liquid crystals. While the tubes produce slightly more of an optical effect, they are more difficult to dissolve in the liquid crystal. In fact, only about one one-thousandth of the liquid crystal mixture is carbon nanotubes.

The addition of these carbon structures alters the crystalline alignment of the liquid crystals and changes the optical properties. Just as some materials react to an electrical current, these doped liquid crystals react to light. The liquid crystal, when exposed to light, changes its axis of refraction.

"A basic problem with these materials is their rather slow buildup times, which are typically in the tens of seconds to minutes for low optical illumination intensity," the researchers reported in Applied Physics Letters. "With suitable choice of dopants and applied fields, . . . these films are on the supranonlinear scale. These values are a thousand times larger than those observed previously. Furthermore, the response times of these effects can be improved to the millisecond time scale."

One image processing application where this doped liquid crystal film can be used is in focusing optical telescopes. Using the film as the capture material for a holographic image of the starfield, the garbage created by optically viewing very distant and weak stars can be eliminated and a holographic view of the starfield in real-time provided.

"Right now the device that is used in the telescope application is very, very expensive, but this film costs only a few pennies," says Khoo. "It would cost a thousand times less."

These films can also be use to create real-time holographic movies and can also be used in low light situations as they are very sensitive to light.

"Another application would be to convert, in real time, an image captured in infra red, to a visible light image," the Penn State researcher notes.

Other potential uses include filling hollow fiber optic fibers with the liquid crystal to control light pulses in the fiber and create a tunable nonlinear photonic crystal fiber.

"At Cambridge, researchers are using the material to make a Dick Tracy type watch," says Khoo. "A watch that can process images and communications."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Doped Liquid Crystals Allow Real Time Holography." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031022061346.htm>.
Penn State. (2003, October 22). Doped Liquid Crystals Allow Real Time Holography. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031022061346.htm
Penn State. "Doped Liquid Crystals Allow Real Time Holography." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031022061346.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) A new company allows customers to make copies of keys by simply uploading a couple of photos. But could it also be great for thieves? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) The Rockefellers — heirs to an oil fortune that made the family name a symbol of American wealth — are switching from fossil fuels to clean energy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A SpaceX Rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, carrying a custom-built 3-D printer into space. NASA envisions astronauts one day using the printer to make their own spare parts. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Billions of dollars are being spent on a massive super sewer to take away London's vast output of waste, which is endangering the River Thames. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins