Innovation

Scientists say they are closer to making 'Star Wars' holograms

Concept artwork of the holographic image that was created with the ANU invention. (Lei Wang, ANU)

Concept artwork of the holographic image that was created with the ANU invention. (Lei Wang, ANU)

Remember that tiny hologram of Princess Leia in Star Wars? Scientists in Australia now say that they are now closer to one day being able to produce such a hologram.

They’ve created a small device that’s made up of millions of microscopic silicon pillars, according to the Australian National University, that is capable of manipulating light and making high-quality infrared holograms. Besides holograms, the researchers also say that the device could work in cameras and satellites as a thin, light component of an optical system.

"As a child, I learned about the concept of holographic imaging from the Star Wars movies,” Lei Wang, the lead researcher behind the project, and a doctoral candidate at the university, said in a statement. “It's really cool to be working on an invention that uses the principles of holography depicted in those movies.”

Another researcher on the project, Sergey Kruk, said in the statement that the material the device is made of is transparent and that it is capable of doing “complex manipulations with light.”

“The holograms that we made demonstrate the strong potential of this technology to be used in a range of applications,” Kruk added.

The research has been announced in the journal Optica, which describes the holograms as being grayscale and tiny.