Research at CMMPEDevices & applications — 2D & 3D holographic projection


Tim Wilkinson’s department has been producing pioneering research into computer-generated holography (CGH) since the subject’s infancy. Past CGH work has been into optical correlators, telecomms switching and more recently, holographic video projection, true 3D projection and high-resolution optical lithography.

In the image below, true 3-dimensional images (as opposed to stereoscopic image pairs) are being prepared by calculating and reproducing the wavefront that would be produced by solid objects.


Holograms are often thought of as an optical novelty that can produce pretty 3D pictures, but they are capable of doing much more than that! They enable light to be manipulated in very complex ways not achievable using conventional optics. Since the realisation of the Spatial light modulator or SLM (actually a version of miniature liquid crystal displays used in commercial video projectors) these holograms can be calculated by computer and displayed on the SLM giving almost limitless opportunities to manipulate laser light.

The above research is looking at producing a viable video display system, where the image is generated holographically, and the design includes all aspects of the display, from the computer to the eye.

Other research in this area includes ultra high resolution optical imaging for lithography, as a cheaper alternative to e-beam lithography. It uses a CGH to manipulate the phase of laser light. That, along with the properties of the photo sensitive material, can be used to increase the system resolution in the production of photo masks.

Click here for a video presented at FLC11 in Niagara Falls

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