Recent Articles November 2014 - Hi-Res Direct Write System DiArts reveals details of its latest orgination system.
The new high-resolution is fully automated and moves from a two-dimensional dotbased interference process to a direct write three-dimensional construction method.
Ken Harris, founder and CEO of Swiss company DiArts (the renamed and relocated Dimensional Arts, established in 1989 in Houston, Texas) has told Holography News® about the Kinetic Light Machine (KLM), the company’s latest origination system which he plans to bring to the market next year.
KLM is a high-resolution direct-write system designed for the origination of optical nano-structures, security features and holograms.
In 1991 Dimensional Arts launched the Davis Light Machine, the first commercially available computer controlled dot matrix system, which Harris designed with Frank Davis. Harris subsequently sold the assets of Dimensional Arts to ITW (as part of the latter’s push into holography) but retained the company.
He worked as a consultant for several years, then worked briefly with 3D AG in Switzerland, decided he liked Lugano so stayed in the country and established DiArts in 2010 (see HN Vol 26 No 12).
At DiArts he has continued to work on novel optical techniques, nanostructures for solar energy and security origination systems (his hybrid reflection hologram was granted US patent 8482830 B2 in July 2013 and is being further developed by a major photopolymer manufacturer).
For the KLM he has moved from a two-dimensional dotbased interference process to a direct write three-dimensional construction method – he mentioned that he ‘had to stop thinking in 2D dots, which was surprisingly difficult after more than 25 years!’.
KLM forms structures in a proprietary photoresist using a ‘focused high-energy beam’ of 100 nm, creating true volume features which can be sized from 100 from 100 nm up to 1.5 μm, on plates up to 150 x 150 mm (6 x 6”). v Harris wouldn’t be more specific about the source of the beam, other than saying it is comparable to but is not e-beam, and that it will write a 150 x 150 mm active area in a few hours.
The first KLM, a security feature origination system, was installed at a major company in October, while the first fully automated system will be working in the DiArts facility from February 2015.
A key improvement is that it will provide real-time control of the beam intensity, varying the energy absorbed by the photoresist as it writes a feature, to enable the origination of very complex structures.
KLM is being developed as a modular system. Modules, all under computer control, will interact with the operator to design the image (including covert and other specific features); then coat, write to, develop and metallise, the photoresist.
There is an automatic transport mechanism to move the plate through the modules, with the whole system operator controlled from a touch screen, with voice control as a future option.
List price for the individual modules or whole system has not yet been fixed. This article appeared in the November 2014 issue of Holography News - the international newsletter for the holography industry, covering hologram products, markets, applications and trends. Read more articles