Thesis defense of Juan Martinez

Thesis defense of Juan Martinez

at 9:00 am

F021, Laboratoire Hubert Curien

"Color characterization of a new laser printing system"

Recent progresses in nanotechnologies enabled the coloration of glass plates coated with titanium dioxide containing silver by laser irradiation. The colored samples display very different colors when obtained by reflection or transmission of light; in specular or off-specular directions; and with or without polarizing filters. This new laser printing technology, that we call PICSLUP (for Photo-Induced Colored Silver LUster Printing system), enables the production of gonioapparent color images.

The goal of this study is to perform a multi-geometry photometric and color characterization of this complex system. This task posed technical challenges due to the system being in a development stage, especially a low availability of the printing material; and due to the photometric properties of the prints: high translucency, high specularity and strong goniochromaticity.

In order to overcome these constraints, our first approach was based on color characterization by microscope imaging. The data set used consisted in printing an exhaustive number of micrometric color patches, produced by varying the different laser printing parameters: exposure time, laser wavelength, laser power, and laser focusing distance. To achieve accurate color measurements with samples produced with the PICSLUS system, we successfully developed a color calibration method especially tailored for highly specular materials, whose accuracy is good in comparison to previous studies in the literature on camera color calibration. From the colors obtained, we could estimate the color gamut in the 0º:0º specular reflection geometry and study the influence of the different printing parameters as well as polarization.

Although the measurements with microscope imaging in the 0°:0° specular geometry were very useful to study the properties of the colors produced by the PICSLUP technology, they were not sufficient to fully characterize the system, since the samples exhibit very different colors according to the respective positions of the viewer and the light source. With this in mind, we assembled a geometry-adjustable hyperspectral imaging system, which allowed us to characterize a representative subset of the colors that can be produced with the system. The samples were measured from both recto and verso faces, in the 0°:0° transmission, 15°:15° specular reflection, and 45°:0° off-specular reflection illumination/observation geometries. From these measurements, the color gamuts of the system were estimated in the different geometries. The volumes delimited by the colors obtained were concave and contained many sparse regions with very few samples. In order to obtain more continuous, dense and convex color gamut volumes, we successfully tested the generation of new colors by juxtaposing printed lines of different primaries with halftoning techniques.

In order to circumvent the need to physically characterize all the different color that can be produced with halftoning using the numerous primaries available, we also tested and fitted existing halftoning prediction models, and obtained a satisfactory accuracy. The use of halftoning not only increased the number colors that can be produced by the system in the different geometries, but also increased the number of different primaries that can be produced when we consider as a whole the set of colors produced by the same printed patch in multiple geometries.

Finally, based on the different properties demonstrated by the samples produced by the PISCLUP system, we explored some imaging and security features with colors obtained from our characterization, and propose further potential applications for this new goniochromatic laser printing technology.