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Thin combiner optics utilizing volume holographic optical elements (vHOEs) using Bayfol HX photopolymer film
Author(s): Friedrich-Karl Bruder; Thomas Fäcke; Rainer Hagen; Sven Hansen; Christel Manecke; Enrico Orselli; Christian Rewitz; Thomas Rölle; Günther Walze
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Paper Abstract

The main function of any augmented reality system is to seamlessly merge the real world perception of a viewer with computer generated images and information. Besides real-time head-tracking and room-scanning capabilities the combiner optics, which optically merge the natural with the artificial visual information, represent a key component for those systems. Various types of combiner optics are known to the industry, all with their specific advantages and disadvantages. Beside the well-established solutions based on refractive optics or surface gratings, volume Holographic Optical Elements (vHOEs) are a very attractive alternative in this field. The unique characteristics of these diffractive grating structures - being lightweight, thin, flat and invisible in Off Bragg conditions - make them perfectly suitable for their use in integrated and compact combiners. For any consumer application it is paramount to build unobtrusive and lightweight augmented reality displays, for which those volume holographic combiners are ideally suited. Due to processing challenges of (historic) holographic recording materials mass production of vHOE holographic combiners was not possible. Therefore vHOE based combiners found use in military applications only by now. The new Bayfol® HX instant developing holographic photopolymer film provides an ideal technology platform to optimize the performance of vHOEs in a wide range of applications. Bayfol® HX provides full color capability and adjustable diffraction efficiency as well as an unprecedented optical clarity when compared to classical holographic recording materials like silver halide emulsions (AgHX) or dichromated gelatin (DCG). Bayfol® HX film is available in industrial scale and quality. Its properties can be tailored for various diffractive performances and integration methods. Bayfol® HX film is easy to process without any need for chemical or thermal development steps, offering simplified contact-copy mass production schemes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 June 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10335, Digital Optical Technologies 2017, 103350D (26 June 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2270158
Show Author Affiliations
Friedrich-Karl Bruder, Covestro Deutschland AG (Germany)
Thomas Fäcke, Covestro Deutschland AG (Germany)
Rainer Hagen, Covestro Deutschland AG (Germany)
Sven Hansen, Covestro Deutschland AG (Germany)
Christel Manecke, Covestro Deutschland AG (Germany)
Enrico Orselli, Covestro Deutschland AG (Germany)
Christian Rewitz, Covestro Deutschland AG (Germany)
Thomas Rölle, Covestro Deutschland AG (Germany)
Günther Walze, Covestro Deutschland AG (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10335:
Digital Optical Technologies 2017
Bernard C. Kress; Wolfgang Osten; H. Paul Urbach, Editor(s)

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