Researchers in Austria, Germany, and the U.K. have developed a simple method for manufacturing high-precision aperiodic photonic volume elements (APVEs).
The approach uses direct laser writing to three-dimensionally configure voxels of specific refractive indices within borosilicate glass.
The researchers programmed an algorithm that stimulates the flow of light through a medium to ascertain optimum voxel placement, and produced 154,000 to 308,000 voxels that each occupied a roughly 1.75-µm × 7.5-µm × 10-µm space in just 20 minutes.
The team used the technique to generate a light shaper controlling the input beam's intensity distribution, a red-green-blue (RGB) multiplexer that controlled the input beam's RGB transmission, and a data transfer speed-enhancing Hermite–Gaussian mode sorter.
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