13 Jun '18
Researchers at the ITMO University in St. Petersburg have developed special nanoparticles that make it possible to print full-sized color holograms basically on any material, using a standard inkjet printer.
The chemists are said to have come up with a simple and convenient way of making holograms after they discovered that certain types of nanoparticles tend to come together in what the scientists referred to as photonic crystals as the drops of water or other liquids, in which the particles were contained, dry up. The team found that conventional inkjets could be used to print out such crystals en masse, giving them a variety of optical properties and colors by varying the size and shape of a drop of liquid, as well as by changing the concentration, dimensions and structure of the nanoparticles themselves.
According to Kirill Keller of the ITMO team, on top of low cost the competitive advantages of this new approach include the ability for a user to print out a hologram on ordinary photo paper, glass or other surfaces without any pre-treatment of those.