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Scientists create super hi-res holographic images using nanotubes

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Multi-walled nanotubeScientists say they have found a way to use carbon nanotubes to create super hi-resolution holographic images in a process that could pave the way for 3D holographic video.

Carbon nanotubes, are exceptionally small manmade materials that are several times thinner than a wavelength of visible light. They are essentially long, thin hollow pipes only a few nanometers wide that possess extraordinary physical properties (such as being 100 times stronger than steel).  They are especially useful for electronic and optical applications.

Holograms are unique 3D photographs that use pixels to scatter the light in such a manner that the light waves interact with each other to create pictures with an uncanny sense of depth. The smaller the pixels in the hologram, the higher the resolution of the resulting image.

Researchers took multi-walled carbon nanotubes (nanotubes within nanotubes) that were grown on silicon surfaces (like pillars rising from the ground), and used mathematical algorithms to position them in such a manner that they create a holographic image. The extremely small size of the nanotubes produced a spectacularly hi-resolution 3D image. The application could be extended to include adjustable pictures of moving images (possibly by integrating the nonotube pixels with liquid crystal pixels).

Currently carbon nanotubes are very expensive to make. Scientists are looking for alternative construction techniques and materials to create structures such as zinc oxide nanowires.

Source: Advanced Materials