Feeds

Boffins build basis for 9TB DVDs

All down to the longitudinal surface plasmon resonance of gold nanorods, don't you know

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Aussie scientists have devised a digital disc design capable of holding the content from 2000 DVDs - more than nine terabytes of data - in a unit physically no bigger than a DVD or Blu-ray Disc.

In a paper entitled Five-dimensional optical recording mediated by surface plasmons in gold nanorods and published today in the journal Nature, researchers Peter Zijlstra, Dr James Chon and Professor Min Gu of the Swinburne University of Technology's Centre for Micro-Photonics in Melbourne, Australia describe a "multiplexed optical recording" system that's capable, they calculate, of an "information density beyond 10^12 bits per cm³".

The proposed disc structure uses a two-dimensional array of the gold nanorods. Multiple layers extend this basic structure into three dimensions, the team demonstrated.

The extra two "dimensions" described in the paper are the wavelength of light - its colour, essentially - and polarisation, allowing every one of the data storage points to hold encode even more information.

The nanorods' colour is governed by their shape, set by heating the nanorod up until it melts and, with the right incident laser light, re-solidifies on cooling.

The gold nanorods also polarise the light, and by adjusting the degree of polarisation, the scientists were able to encode information that way too.

Reading back the information involves heating each nanorod and examining the colour and polarisation of the light it emits. Heating the nanorods to read the information doesn't destroy that data.

The researchers admitted that all three techniques - spatial, wavelength and polarisation - have been proposed before, but separately. They contend they're the first to find a material that can by used to apply all three techniques.

The best bit: all this extra data comes at no cost to the disc's size, said Gu.

Plenty more work needs to be done, he admitted, most importantly the speed at which data can be stored on a disc. The team's data-recording surface isn't a disc and it doesn't rotate. It also requires a large and complex apparatus to read the information back - all a long way from a thin 12cm disc you can slot in a PC peripheral.

However, Gu reckons discs based on his team's design could become a commercial reality within five to ten years. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.