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News in technology: Three dimensional optical storage

Posted at 30 July 2008 19:58 CEST by geno888

Who said that optical data storage is becoming obsolete? According to a news published at Ars Technica, a new way to store data using optical technologies has been created by chemical researchers at University of California.

The new technique will use not only a single state to store data on a disc, like the current optical discs (CD, DVD or Blu-ray), but the entire volume of the disc, making possible to store as much as 1 TB on a standard-size (120mm x 1.2mm) optical disc.

The principle used is a bit complicated. The blank media contains a matrix with a colourless molecule embedded, named a dye precursor, which is able to react with acids. When an acid reacts with the precursor, it will create a fluorescent molecule that can be detected by a laser beam, like the land and pits of a DVD.

In the matrix there are also other molecules that can be converted into an acid with a proper laser beam. So, when the laser hits the acid precursor it will start the conversion of the dye precursor into a fluorescent dye.

By focusing properly the laser beam, it is possible to create a series of fluorescent spots that basically are the same thing of pit and lands of a standard DVD disc, but scattered on the entire matrix, and not only on a single layer.

From the article it is not fully clear if this technology can be used only for write once media or also for rewritable discs, but it seems promising anyway.


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There are 4 comments

No longer with us
Posted on: 30 Jul 08 20:35
    You what?
    CD Freaks Rookie
    Posted on: 31 Jul 08 07:01
      Ahh, but I have heard about this/similar technology about half a decade ago (namely, the little pic there is of a purported FMD). So what exactly is new? Do they have prototypes? Reviews of their technology maybe? Yeah, right -- the company that was developing FMDs apparently lied through their teeth (, and vaporized, much like the company that acquired their patent portfolio...

      So what is the moral of the story?
      You gotta have a little more to show than vague design descriptions and big fat promises... I am pretty sick of vaporware, how about you?
      CD Freaks Member
      Posted on: 01 Aug 08 01:06

        Totally agree with you. Also though, I wonder how durable these discs will be. Talking about acids, dyes, and whatever else. What will happen if these are left out in the sun for like an hour. Will it cause the dye inside to shift, thus, screwing up your disc.
        MyCE Resident
        Posted on: 04 Aug 08 01:02
          IMHO optical media will become obsolete for all but movies etc. I am waiting for flash cards to become so cheap per gig that it makes more sense storing on those instead. I'd rather lug around a box full of flash cards than a folder of discs.

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