Printing Color Images At 100,000 DPI

A team of researchers has figured out a way to use nanotechnology to create images at the highest dots-per-inch resolution possible. Such images could be used for anti-counterfeiting or high-density data encoding.

What's the Latest Development?

Researchers at Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have discovered a way to print color images at the highest resolution possible: 100,000 dots per inch (DPI). They did it by coating a silicon wafer with an insulating material, and then removing part of the layer to reveal a set of upright posts about 95 nanometers high. They then added metals to these "nanoposts" and coated the remains of the wafer with metal. Changing the nanoposts' spacing and diameter determined which parts of the color spectrum would appear when visible light hit the wafer.

What's the Big Idea?

The super-high resolution of images printed in this way is due to the precise proximity between individual posts: "[T]wo adjacent dots blur into one if they are closer than half the wavelength of the light reflecting from them. Since the wavelength of visible light ranges about 380-780 nanometers, the nanoposts are as close as is physically possible to produce a reasonable range of colors." Although the printing process takes several hours, team leader Joel Yang says a nanopost template could be created for stamping copies of an image. The tiny images could serve as anti-counterfeiting tags on products.

Photo Credit:

Read it at ScienceDaily

Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less

Scientists figure out how to trap dark matter

A new method promises to capture an elusive dark world particle.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) devised a method for trapping dark matter particles.
  • Dark matter is estimated to take up 26.8% of all matter in the Universe.
  • The researchers will be able to try their approach in 2021, when the LHC goes back online.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less
  • As a stand-up comedian, Pete Holmes knows how words can manipulate audiences — for good and bad.
  • Words aren't just words. They stich together our social fabric, helping establish and maintain relationships.
  • Holmes has a clever linguistic exercise meant to bring you closer to the people around you.