Metamaterials for video holography
Holography is a technique that can create true 3D imaging by illuminating a finely patterned structure. To project holograms at video rate in high resolution, this pattern requires more than 10000 lines/mm and a data bandwidth of more than 10 Gigabits/cm². Until recently, driving high-quality holograms at video rate was not possible due to the limitations in both patterning resolution and data bandwidth. However, the silicon industry’s quest to reach smaller patterning and higher data bandwidth has now brought both requirements within reach. Consequently, this opens new perspectives to develop video-rate switchable full-color holograms on CMOS driving circuitry. This PhD is a crucial part of the ERC Advanced grant granted to prof. dr. ir. Jan Genoe which aims to develop low-power electrical control of the local refractive index of a waveguide using novel metamaterials. The focus of this PhD will be the investigation of a layer of fine-pitched patterns of conductive and non-conductive oxides and/or nitrides with the goal to control the electric field with sub-100 nm precision. This layer will serve as the waveguide cladding and will be used to control the waveguide using the electro-optical effect. The necessity for transparent materials such as oxides and nitrides stems from the parasitic light scattering that would occur if metals were used. As such, this PhD thesis entails the design, production and characterization of the required metamaterials and its subsequent components. Initially, the PhD will focus around assessing the suitability of various materials, specifically their optical characteristics and how processing conditions influence them. To this end, optical measurements such as ellipsometry will be employed to gain insight in material properties. Simultaneously, finite difference time domain simulations will be performed to explore the constraints the material growth needs to match. Later, the goal is to create a completely transparent grating metamaterial. This in turn will require patterning, etching and accurate filling of the etched patterns. Herein lies the strength of the host institute which has all the necessary equipment, materials and know-how readily available to bring this project to fruition. Finally, in collaboration with other groups, the layers need to be integrated onto drive electronics to arrive at a proof of concept video holographic device.