Innovation in Holographic Technology
2023 – Winner
Raith Laser Systems B.V. (Netherlands) – PicoMaster Single and Multiple Beam Direct Write Lithography
What was it for and how did it work?
It is for the next generation of hologram producers and it works better than any other mastering system that has ever been invented.
What is significant about this hologram project?
The PicoMaster is currently the world’s best hologram mastering system. It was the first and is currently the only single-beam direct-write lithography system to have been specifically developed for the mastering of holograms, OVD’s, optical/holographic packaging, digital and computer-generated holograms, diffraction gratings, Fresnel lenses and images, etc. for the optical security and packaging industries. The PicoMaster is a ‘true’ digital mastering system and, after analogue mastering (1962-1992), and semi-digital mastering (1992-2022), has ushered in the third paradigm of holographic mastering – fully digital. The PicoMaster operates at 10,000,000 variable energy exposures per second, making an exposure every 40nm at 400mm/s, using a 405nm laser beam focussed to a point only 275nm in diameter. In doing so, the PicoMaster ‘scribes’ nano and micro-optical surface structures directly onto the surface of a photoresist plate to give e-beam quality optical features, with no noise from diffraction and dust on optical components, and no optical distortions, pixels, seams, or boundaries, from an optical reduction system. All other systems struggle to achieve deep fringe structures, however, the PicoMaster can create features with any shape and profile, and with depths up to 25um, in a highly controllable fashion. All of these unique and ground-breaking technical achievements, never before possible, some not even with e-beam, provide the brightest and most saturated holograms, OVDs, and other optical structures that it is theoretically possible to achieve. Both the single-beam PicoMaster systems and now the large-format high-speed multi-beam PicoMaster XFs systems are truly a paradigm shift in mastering technology.