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Efficient and robust multiphoton data storage in molecular glasses and highly crosslinked polymers


As electronics become ever faster and more powerful, there is growing interest in three-dimensional laser-based optical data storage techniques1,2, which can potentially provide efficient storage at densities significantly higher than those that are likely to be available from magnetic media. The development of inexpensive, efficient and robust media has been a major obstacle in optical data storage. However, we have discovered a class of materials that become highly fluorescent on multiphoton absorption3,4,5 of pulses of 800-nm light from a Ti:sapphire oscillator, making them excellent candidate storage media. The materials are inexpensive, of high optical quality, can be processed readily, and can take a number of useful forms, including molecular glasses and highly crosslinked polymers. Three-dimensional data can be stored at high densities in these materials, and are highly robust to readout.

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Figure 1: Materials used for fluorescent data storage.
Figure 2: Fluorescent data stored in 1.
Figure 3: Characterization of the storage and readout processes in 1.
Figure 4: Results of attempted data storage in Devcon 5-Minute Epoxy and its components.


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This work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Grant F49620-01-1-0455). We are grateful to Amy S. Mullin, Peter T. C. So and Ross Kelly for helpful suggestions. J.T.F. is a Beckman Young Investigator, a Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar, and a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar.

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Correspondence to John T. Fourkas.

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Olson, C., Previte, M. & Fourkas, J. Efficient and robust multiphoton data storage in molecular glasses and highly crosslinked polymers. Nature Mater 1, 225–228 (2002).

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