Nanostructures arranged into patterns are the basis for holograms, metamaterials and photonic crystals. Researchers in the School of Engineering, in collaboration with Imperial College and Harvard Medical School, have reported a new method, using short laser pulses, to reconfigure these patterns.

This novel method can be used to create rewritable holograms which do not rely on silver halides or photoresist materials. The intense laser pulses can alter the physical and optical properties of materials, creating the hologram.

Dr Haider Butt, Lecturer in Micro Engineering and Nanotechnology in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, said ‘This method allows us to create rewritable photonic crystals, optical elements and 3D holograms, and removes the limitations of previous techniques’.

The HB-Nanophotonics Group focuses on producing and using novel nanostructures for nanophotonic devices.


Y. Montelongo, A. K. Yetisen, H. Butt, S. H. Yun, Reconfigurable optical assembly of nanostructures, Nature Communications, 7, 12002 (2016)