CORDIS - EU research results

Dynamic Spatio-Temporal Modulation of Light by Phononic Architectures

Project description

Transforming imaging with simultaneous light modulation

Many products and devices depend on imaging technology, from projection displays to remote sensors. The EU-funded DYNAMO project hopes to achieve a new paradigm in imaging techniques by creating spatial light modulators which can operate simultaneously. Conventional spatial light modulators operate sequentially: a beam of light is shaped into different patterns, and the time interval between patterns is governed by the refresh rate of the device. Instead, researchers propose sending all patterns in one short nanosecond pulse, creating a dynamic spatiotemporal light modulation device. This will result in ultra-fast imaging with a refresh rate for dynamic pixels equivalent to that of the GHz range.


Imaging technologies form the basis of a vast range of products and devices and improvements would have a huge impact both scientifically and commercially. We have identified a key bottleneck, how light is modulated in the imaging system, that we can unlock to achieve a new paradigm in imaging technologies. Spatial light modulators, and similar components, operate sequentially: the light beam is shaped in different patterns but the time interval between patterns is limited by the refresh rate of the device. We will remove this limitation, thereby creating a technological breakthrough; our advance will be to send all possible patterns of the device simultaneously, and encoded in a short nanosecond pulse, creating the concept of parallel beam shaping or dynamic spatio-temporal light modulation device. In Dynamo, we will shape optical beams in two spatial dimensions plus the temporal one. The equivalent refresh rate of the dynamic pixel will start at GHz, although we are confident it will become much higher by the end of the project. To give an idea of our ambition, we compare this improvement in the time to process images with the improvement in the clock frequency of computers: the first general-purpose electronic computer, the ENIAC, had a clock frequency of 100kHz in 1945. It was not until 2000 where AMD reached 1 GHz in their computers. Processing images is broadly similar to processing data so this is indicative of the fifty-year acceleration in the realm of imaging that we will achieve. Dynamo is an ambitious and integrated project that begins by studying the fundamentals of acoustic wave scattering and ends by developing ultra-fast imaging applications in optics. The success of this pathway requires the synergy of the disciplines of physical acoustics, photonics and imaging. The outcomes from this project offer to accelerate imaging technologies and place European science and industry at the forefront of the inventions and advances that will follow.


Net EU contribution
€ 876 027,50
12006 Castellon De La Plana

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Este Comunitat Valenciana Castellón/Castelló
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 958 415,00

Participants (5)

Partners (9)