Bubbles Open The Doors For Next-Generation Displays

To combine the speed of optical communication with the portability of electronic circuitry, researchers use nanoplasmonics — devices that use short electromagnetic waves to modulate light on the nanometer scale, where conventional optics do not work. However, aiming and focusing this modulated light beam at desired targets is difficult. A research team from the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) has find a new way to bend light beams to your whim. A few tiny liquid bubbles may be all that is necessary to open the doors for next-generation, high-speed circuits and displays. The main advantage of a bubble lens is just how quickly and easily researchers can reconfigure the bubble’s location, size, and shape — all of which affect the direction and focus of any light beam passing through it.

refraction pattern
Laboratory images of a light beam without a bubble lens, followed by three examples of different bubble lenses altering the light

There are different solid-state devices to control (light beams), to switch them or modulate them, but the tenability and reconfigurability are very limited,” said Tony Jun Huang, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics. “Using a bubble has a lot of advantages
Source: http://news.psu.edu/