Our Star Trek Future: Printing Holograms in Space

Photo Credit: Star Trek
Photo Credit: Star Trek
Developing holographic lenses, while increasingly important in our ever-growing technological age, has always been quite the struggle. It required a lot of time, labor, and money to ensure overall success. When you compare it to how the fictional universe of Star Trek accommodated holography in their everyday society, one would assume that we’re decades, if not centuries, away from reaching such a future. That is, until now.


Published in the recent issue of ACS Nano, researchers have developed a whole new method of printing holographic lenses that cuts the original labor-intense and time-consuming process down to a single step in mere seconds. Using a nanosecond laser pulse to create interference patterns on a transparent substrate, the laser is able to reflect off the substrate’s concave mirror back onto itself. As a result, the noted interference occurs as the laser beam comes into contact with itself, moving in two opposite directions, resulting in the interference pattern “printing” onto another substrate between the two beams.

Credit: Zhao, et al. ©2015 American Chemical Society

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