Fairy Lights in Femtoseconds: Aerial and Volumetric Graphics Rendered by
Focused Femtosecond Laser Combined with Computational Holographic Fields

Yoichi Ochiai* (University of Tsukuba)
Kota Kumagai*(Utsunomiya University)
Takayuki Hoshi (Nagoya Institute of Technology)
Jun Rekimoto (The University of Tokyo)
Satoshi Hasegawa (Utunomiya University)
Yoshio Hayasaki (Utsunomiya University)
[ *Joint First Author]

ACM Transactions on Graphics Vol. 35, Issue 2, No. 17, 2016.

We present a method of rendering aerial and volumetric graphics using femtosecond lasers. A high-intensity laser excites a physical matter to emit light at an arbitrary 3D position. Popular applications can then be explored especially since plasma induced by a femtosecond laser is safer than that generated by a nanosecond laser. There are two methods of rendering graphics with a femtosecond laser in air: Producing holograms using spatial light modulation technology, and scanning of a laser beam by a galvano mirror. The holograms and workspace of the system proposed here occupy a volume of up to 1 cm^3; however, this size is scalable depending on the optical devices and their setup. This paper provides details of the principles, system setup, and experimental evaluation, and discussions on scalability, design space, and applications of this system. We tested two laser sources: an adjustable (30-100 fs) laser which projects up to 1,000 pulses per second at energy up to 7 mJ per pulse, and a 269-fs laser which projects up to 200,000 pulses per second at an energy up to 50 uJ per pulse. We confirmed that the spatiotemporal resolution of volumetric displays, implemented with these laser sources, is 4,000 and 200,000 dots per second. Although we focus on laser-induced plasma in air, the discussion presented here is also applicable to other rendering principles such as fluorescence and microbubble in solid/liquid materials.

Copyright © Kota Kumagai. All Rights Reserved.