The transparent display in many SciFi movies and TV shows (including Extant) looks really cool. The problem has always been that light escapes the transparent glass. Recently, MIT graduate student Wade Hsu and colleagues have shown that they are now able to confine light in the surface of a photonic crystal slab and thus design a transparent display using nanoparticles.
We can take a piece of glass which is originally transparent and put in nanoparticles that only scatter a particular, narrow bandwidth of light. Light in the visible spectrum is made of many different wavelengths from 300 nanometers to 750 nanometers. If we have such a structure, then most of the light can pass through, so it is still transparent, but if we project light of that particular narrow bandwidth, light can be scattered strongly as if it were hitting a regular screen. -Wade Hsu
Read the whole article at: MIT
Editor’s note: Pair this transparent display with the transparent solar cell and you could have a truly interesting product.