Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia have come up with a new optical recording method that could allow a giant 1.6 terabytes of information – the equivalent of 300 DVDs – to fit on a single disc, according to Nature.
Their 5-D recording method uses nanometer-scale particles of gold as a recording medium and manipulates the light pointed at them.
How does it work? The nanoparticles record information in different color wavelengths, all in the same physical disc location. As the amount of incoming laser light absorbed by the nanoparticles depends on its polarization, this allows the researchers to record different layers of information at different angles to create the 5-D effect.
Previous recording techniques have been through polarization or color; this is the first to combine the two. And they say that refining the technique could eventually mean being able to put 10TB of information on a single disc.
James Chon, a co-author on the research, told the BBC:
“The optical system to record and read 5-D is very similar to the current DVD system. Therefore the industrial scale production of the compact system is possible.”
The cost of the discs for recording this way are about a nickel each, but moving to silver nano-rods would bring that cost down by a factor of 100.
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