Researchers have achieved mastery in the precise control of light for creating vibrant structural coloration, according to an article on

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A major breakthrough in 3D printing technology has been achieved by researchers at the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI), who have developed a nanoscale 3D printing technique that allows for precise control over light. Led by Dr. Jaeyeon Pyo, the team has successfully created intricate diffraction gratings through this technique, which has the potential to revolutionize various applications, including transparent displays and augmented reality devices.

The idea for this innovation was inspired by nature’s structural coloration phenomenon, observed in animals such as chameleons and peacocks. These creatures have microstructures in their skin or feathers that diffract light at the wavelength level, resulting in vibrant colors without the use of pigments. Building on this natural phenomenon, KERI’s diffraction grating manipulates light paths to precisely control structural color.

One of the critical achievements of this research was the successful creation of nanowire diffraction gratings through a lateral printing technique. Similar to sewing, this approach allowed for the production of intricate bridge-shaped patterns at an incredibly small scale, measuring just 1/1000th the thickness of a human hair.

The implications of this technology are vast. Transparent displays, such as smart windows and heads-up displays in vehicles, could greatly benefit from the diffraction grating’s transparency. Augmented reality devices can incorporate the technology as a key component, enhancing the visual experience for users. In addition, the ability to emit different colors based on deformation opens doors for applications in mechanical engineering and biomedicine.

Dr. Jaeyeon Pyo emphasized the revolutionary nature of this technology, noting that it allows for the precise implementation of structural coloration without limitations on material or shape. The significance of this research has been recognized through its cover article publication in ACS Nano, a highly esteemed materials science journal.

KERI has already initiated patent applications for this innovative breakthrough and expects significant interest from industries related to display technology. The achievement is likely to diversify display device shapes and overcome conventional limitations. As a government-funded research institute, KERI plans to promote technology transfer to interested companies, further driving the evolution of display technology.

For those interested, the research paper titled “Three-Dimensional Printing of Structural Color Using a Femtoliter Meniscus” can be found in ACS Nano journal. Readers are invited to share their thoughts on this breakthrough on KERI’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. Additionally, signing up for the institute’s weekly additive manufacturing newsletter ensures that subscribers receive all the latest stories directly in their inbox.

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