Displaying optical pictures on the nanoscale decision

Metasurface-based nanoprinting: displaying optical image at the nanoscale resolution
Rice sculpture artwork exhibition. Credit score: OEA

There’s a long-standing folks artwork in China referred to as “rice carving,” during which lifelike inventive patterns are carved on rice with a size of solely about 5 mm. These works should be appreciated with a magnifying glass.

Rice carving might be considered a printing expertise primarily based on a particular materials. Printing expertise refers back to the entire strategy of transferring pictures and knowledge to the floor of paper, textiles, plastics and different supplies. It is a vital a part of the knowledge trade. As an energy-saving, environment-friendly and difficult-to-copy printing methodology, ink-free coloration printing is changing into a brand new space of printing expertise growth.

The ink-free coloration printing makes use of laser engraving, holographic expertise, electron beam, ultra-precision numerical management processing, electrochemical and different micro processing applied sciences to type digitally programmed micro-nano constructions on the floor of printed merchandise. Ink-free coloration printing can generate bodily phenomena reminiscent of diffraction, reflection, refraction and transmission of sunshine, and thus show characters and pictures of various colours. The advanced micro construction manufacturing course of makes it tough to be copied.

Subsequently, ink-free printing expertise is extensively utilized in packaging, labeling, anti-counterfeiting and different purposes, and it has the traits of ultra-high decision and may show micron degree characters. Nevertheless, as a result of limitation of its easy mild subject manipulation precept, ink-free printing expertise has problem producing extra considerable colours and complicated picture data, and it has encountered nice technical obstacles in its deep software.

There may be demand for a full-color, steady grayscale, high-resolution and easy construction coloration ink-free printing refresh expertise to play a key position in fields reminiscent of optical encryption and anti-counterfeiting, AR / VR, printing and packaging, artwork creation, data storage and so forth.

Metasurface-based nanoprinting: displaying optical image at the nanoscale resolution
Metasurface-based nanoprinting to breed the oil portray artwork of The Woman with the Pearl Earring. Credit score: OEA

Metasurface is a brand new sort of synthetic construction materials developed quickly in recent times. It’s composed of periodic subwavelength constructions deposited on planar substrates. Within the optical band, by moderately designing the geometry, measurement and orientation of the sub-wavelength construction, metasurfaces can flexibly manipulate the essential optical parameters reminiscent of amplitude, section and polarization state of incident mild on the nanoscale. It’s the popular expertise for storing and displaying nanoprinting pictures with ultra-high decision.

As a brand new sort of optical picture storage and show platform primarily based on metasurfaces, the decision of the saved picture is as excessive as 80K DPI, which not solely far exceeds the standard printing expertise (reminiscent of gravure printing, which is usually solely 5K DPI), but in addition has the excellent traits of lengthy life, zero air pollution and wealthy coloration. Proven under are the outcomes of recording and reproducing the The Woman with the Pearl Earring with a metasurface with an total measurement of about 0.6 mm ´ 1 mm.

Extra importantly, the wealthy design freedom of metasurfaces has made the metasurface-based nanoprinting expertise develop from the unique single-channel to present multi-channel, multi-function integration and even dynamic show, displaying enticing software prospects within the fields of data storage, optical anti-counterfeiting, data encryption and ultra-compact show, as proven under.

Metasurface-based nanoprinting: displaying optical image at the nanoscale resolution
Typical purposes of metasurface-based nanoprinting. Credit score: OEA

In a research printed in Opto-Digital Science, researchers have summarized the event of metasurface-based nanoprinting in recent times. Primarily based on the bodily precept of metasurface-based nanoprinting, this paper evaluations intimately the analysis progress of single-channel metasurface-based nanoprinting, multi-channel metasurface-based nanoprinting, dynamic metasurface-based nanoprinting and multi-functional metasurfaces combining nanoprinting with holography or metalens.

The authors additionally focus on the purposes of metasurface-based nanoprinting in picture show, vortex beam technology, data decoding and hiding, data encryption, high-density optical storage and optical anti-counterfeiting, and at last summarizes the alternatives and challenges that metasurface-based nanoprinting at present faces.

Extra data:
Rao Fu et al, Metasurface-based nanoprinting: precept, design and advances, Opto-Digital Science (2022). DOI: 10.29026/oes.2022.220011

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