Researchers ‘print’ at highest resolution optics allow

What’s the highest resolution that an image can be printed at, and why does it matter?

A team of researchers from Singapore has determined that around 100,000 dots per inch (dpi) is the finest resolution at which an image can be printed. Beyond that, the diffraction limit of visible light would prevent the image from appearing any sharper.

Instead of using dots of ink, the researchers created their 100,000-dpi image with nano-sized disks of metal raised above a reflector background on tiny nanoposts. The appearance of different colors was achieved by varying the diameter and spacing of individual disks to “tune” each pixel using plasmon resonance.

According to the researchers, the technique could be useful for creating tiny images for security purposes, as well as high-density optical data storage, nanoscale optical filters or steganographic (hidden) messages.


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