Metamaterial Inc., a developer of high-performance functional materials and nanocomposites, has installed the world’s first C-WAVE GTR/NIR (green-to-red/near-infrared) tunable laser from HÜBNER Photonics.
Laser light sources are core to holography, and the new system covers a significant gap in the green region, which would be costly and complex to address with alternative narrow bandwidth lasers. Together with two other tunable sources, META now has the ability to record holograms at any desired wavelength across the entire visible spectrum, which will accelerate holographic product development. This new, full-spectrum capability will be a crucial enabler for crafting full-color RGB holograms for optical combiners in augmented reality and head up display applications.
“We are delighted to work with an innovative partner like META to advance the state of the art in tunable lasers for holography. Development of the C-WAVE GTR/NIR was a two-year project, during which we gained insights and received valuable feedback from the META team,” said Ingolf Cedra, General Manager HÜBNER Group.
Ever since Dennis Gabor invented holography in 1947, which later earned him a Nobel Prize for his efforts, the technological field of holography has been evolving. META has invented meter-scale and roll-to-roll capable proprietary holographic direct-write tools and products working closely with its strategic suppliers to achieve better outcomes for its customers. “HÜBNER Photonics answered one of our major challenges, to invent a new light source that would be tunable from red to green. Thanks to their ingenuity and our feedback, HÜBNER Photonics developed and delivered a first-of-a-kind tunable laser system, the C-WAVE GTR/NIR. We could not be happier with HÜBNER Photonics’ support, which enabled us to quickly install and commission the GTR 100% remotely, overcoming the travel restrictions related to COVID-19,” said George Palikaras, President and CEO at META.
Precise control of the recording wavelength is critical in holographic product development. Designers must compensate for wavelength shifts that result from material shrinkage and effects of post processing, which cause the replay wavelength to differ from the wavelength used for recording. The new laser is fully tunable across the visible GTR region (500 to 750 nm), as well as NIR (1000 to 1500 nm).
“The green region is a particularly important range of wavelengths for our customers, and up to now we have lacked wavelength flexibility within that band. With the C-WAVE GTR/NIR, META is now able to record RGB (red, green, blue) holograms at any combination of wavelengths our customers may require. We expect this capability to help us attract and more rapidly complete new holographic development projects,” said Dr. Andrew Mark, Manager of Optical Engineering and Metamaterial Design at META.