3-D display, partial pixel


We describe in detail the partial pixel architecture that permits the realization of three-dimensional (3-D) displays that are functionally equivalent to a real-time holographic stereogram. This architecture permits the simultaneous presentation of multiple stereoscopic images so that motion parallax is discernible in the resultant 3-D scene. The key innovation of the architecture is that each pixel is subdivided into partial pixels, which in turn can be implemented as individual diffraction gratings. We describe a static display that exhibits a 3-D image with one-dimensional motion parallax, thereby demonstrating key features of the architecture. A variety of partial pixel implementations are discussed that can operate at video frame rates. These include voltage-controlled liquid crystal gratings and binary optic gratings integrated with conventional liquid crystal amplitude modulators. In addition, we describe how the partial pixel architecture can be generalized for the implementation of full-color displays and displays having two-dimensional motion parallax.

Original Publication Citation

J. H. Kulick, G. P. Nordin, A. Parker, S. T. Kowel, R. G. Lindquist, M. Jones, and P. Nasiatka,"Partial Pixels: A Three-Dimensional Diffractive Display Architecture"" J. Opt. Soc. Am. A, 12(1), pp. 73-83 (1995)

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Optical Society of America




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Electrical and Computer Engineering