Colored nanoscale image (a) Before the addition of metal in the nanostructures (b) Color is observed after the addition of metal (c top) Zooming into th eimage (c bottom) The nanostructure as observed in electron micrograph (Image: A*STAR)
Magazine print is
300 2,400 dpi or dots per inch; standard web resolution is
at about 72 dpi and Apple's fancy schmancy Retina display is at 326 dpi.
The sharpest inkjet and laserjet printers can get 10,000 dpi but none
of these can match what researchers at A*STAR's Institute of Materials
Research and Engineering: a full-spectrum color image at 100,000 dpi using
metal-laced nanometer-sized structures.
"Instead of using different dyes for different colours, we encoded colour information into the size and position of tiny metal disks. These disks then interacted with light through the phenomenon of plasmon resonances," said Dr Joel Yang, the project leader of the research. "The team built a database of colour that corresponded to a specific nanostructure pattern, size and spacing. These nanostructures were then positioned accordingly. Similar to a child's 'colouring-by-numbers' image, the sizes and positions of these nanostructures defined the 'numbers'. But instead of sequentially colouring each area with a different ink, an ultrathin and uniform metal film was deposited across the entire image causing the 'encoded' colours to appear all at once, almost like magic!" added Dr Joel Yang.
In a nod to tradition, the researchers used "Lenna," the cropped image of Playboy centerfold model Lena Söderberg, that is credited as the very first JPEG image.