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Printing Holograms with an Inkjet

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 06:43AM

We are likely all familiar with rainbow holograms, as they are used to help secure currencies and credit cards. Making these holograms is somewhat difficult, but researchers at ITMO University have managed to significantly simplify the process by bringing it to inkjet printers.

The process of creating a rainbow hologram starts with making a master hologram using a laser to record onto a photosensitive polymer. This polymer is then dried and the unexposed parts are washed out, leaving a stencil that is transferred to a metallic matrix that can emboss the hologram onto a transparent film. All told, this can several days, especially as temperature control and vibration isolation is necessary for creating the master hologram. This new printing method takes just minutes as it only requires printing a nanocrystalline ink onto a microembossed surface, which is later covered by a varnish. The ink has a high refractive index across the visible portion of the spectrum, so even under a varnish or polymer layer the hologram is preserved.

Naturally this discovery could dramatically reduce the cost of these holograms, but also make it possible to create holograms of any size.

Source: ITMOP University

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