Bang & Olufsen has been working with a method for manufacturing ultra-thin structures in aluminium that can be penetrated by light. This work has resulted in a patent describing how to obtain this effect by material removal in local areas in a solid material. The idea behind an invisible display in aluminium concerns the processing of a metal workpiece in such a way that microcavities are formed from the backside of the workpiece. The microcavities must not penetrate the metal front side, but an ultra-thin layer of metal is left. It is possible to shine light through this layer. By ordering microcavities in a matrix, different symbols can be obtained by shining light from the backside of the workpiece. When there is no light from the backside, the front surface seems totally untouched. Three different manufacturing processes were investigated to achieve the desired functionality: laser micromachining with ultra-short pulses, selective etching combined with anodizing, and electrochemical machining.
|Journal||Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Proceedings. Part N: Journal of Nanoengineering and Nanosystems|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|