Laser Light for Next-Generation Data Storage

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Fluorescent nanocrystals could represent an alternative to traditional magnetic and solid-state drive for data storage

The researchers at the University of South Australia proposed the technology of using nano-sized crystals of salt encoded with data using laser light can be used for data storage.

The communicating world has entered an age where new technologies are required to meet the demands of 100s of the terabyte (1000 gigabytes) or even petabyte (one million gigabytes) storage. To meet this demand researchers proposed the technology of optical data storage.

Light emitting properties of nanocrystals for storage

The technology developed is based on the light-emitting properties of the nanocrystals that can be switched on and off in patterns to represent digital information. They used lasers to alter the electronic states and the fluorescence properties of the crystals.

These fluorescent nanocrystals could represent an alternative to traditional magnetic (hard drive disk) and solid-state (solid state drive) data storage or Blu-ray discs. Additionally, it represents rewritable data storage in crystals that is 100s of times smaller than that is visible with the human eye.

The technology also allows for very low-power lasers to be used, increasing its energy efficiency and being more practical for consumer applications.

Well, researchers are moving ahead to extend this data storage platform to 3D technologies in which the nanocrystals would be embedded into a glass or polymer, making use of the glass-processing capabilities.