Ewesly / Holographic Formulae / SM-6

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SM-6 Developer

Stock Solutions

18 g Ascorbic Acid
12 g Sodium Hydroxide
28.4 g Sodium Phosphate (dibasic)
6 g Phenidone
One litre water

Sometimes the formula is divided into two parts, so that the stock solutions can last longer:

36 g  Ascorbic Acid                       
12 g  Phenidone 
One litre water

24 g Sodium Hydroxide
56.8 g Sodium Phosphate (dibasic)
One litre water

Hot H2O alert! Phenidone is almost impossible to dissolve unless the water is tap water hot, like > 100F or 38C or so.

Development time

Reflection holograms: One minute for films, two for plates.
Transmission holograms: Two to four minutes.

Temperature:  20C            Agitation:  Constant

Primary recommendation

for developing the discontinued Agfa Holotest 8E56HD and 8E75HD films and plates as well as any other manufacturer’s product that is exposed to extremely short laser pulses, such as Q-Switched (or even free-lasing) Ruby or YAG lasers.  Follow with a rehalogenating/diffusing bleach for no emulsion shrinkage, or 'Chrome bleach for change of replay wavelength in the reflection mode.  It is also the primary recommendation by Geola UAB for the Slavich PFG-03C or Sphere-S GEO-3 panchromatic holographic emulsions in continuous wave mode with either a Formaldehyde Pre-Hardening Bath or even with Formaldehyde added to the developer. (10 ml 37% Formaldehyde solution to 1 liter of developer)

Shelf life

Part A can last a month in a tightly stoppered bottle; Part B can last indefinitely.  The combined solutions can last at least a day in a covered tray.


Click here for a detailed synopsis of the discovery of SM-6; click here for an interesting in-house report filed by Salim Idriss, a summer intern at Northwestern University, as part of his scholarship, on the same topic, followed by experimental verification.