Opt. Mater. Express 2, 1003–1010 (2012)

Credit: © OSA 2012

The realization of holographic displays that are able to generate three-dimensional images with a video-rate refresh speed is a long-sought-after goal of photonics researchers. However, so far the low response speed of holographic materials has largely limited applications to the display of static images. Now Naoto Tsutsumi and co-workers from Kyoto Institute of Technology and Chitose Institute of Science and Technology in Japan have demonstrated that a holographic medium made from the polymer poly(methyl methacrylate) doped with an organic compound called NACzE is capable of recording and displaying new images within just a few seconds. A further benefit is that an electric field does not need to be applied to the medium to enable viewing of the images. The display's large area and thin geometry — it consists of a 50-μm-thick film sandwiched between two glass plates measuring 7.5 cm by 5 cm — means that in future it could be suitable for large signage applications. Although the temporal response of the display is not yet fast enough for video requirements, the authors say that it could be improved by adjusting the glass transition temperature of the polymer film.