Researchers see terabyte data storage in glass

Researchers see terabyte data storage in glass

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

The storage, in what the researchers call nanostructured glass, allows 360 TB of storage, thermal stability up to 1000°C and practically unlimited lifetime.
The key is that the data is recorded via self-assembled nanostructures created in fused quartz by the laser using what the researchers call five dimensions – the size and orientation of the nanostructures as well as the three dimensional position.
A 300Kbit digital copy of a text file was successfully recorded using a 1030nm beam delivering 8 µJ pulses of 280 fs at 200 kHz repetition rate, writing three layers of nanostructured dots separated by five microns. The self-assembled nanostructures change the way light travels through glass, modifying polarisation of light that can then be read by combination of optical microscope and a polariser, similar to that found in Polaroid sunglasses.
The research is led by Jingyu Zhang from the University’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) as a joint project with Eindhoven University of Technology in the Femtoprint EU project.
“We are developing a very stable and safe form of portable memory using glass, which could be highly useful for organisations with big archives. At the moment companies have to back up their archives every five to ten years because hard-drive memory has a relatively short lifespan,” said Jingyu. “Museums who want to preserve information or places like the national archives where they have huge numbers of documents, would really benefit.”
The team are now looking for industry partners to commercialise this ground-breaking new technology, having coined both the 5D term and calling it the ‘Superman’ memory crystal, as the glass memory has been compared to the “memory crystals” used in the Superman films.

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