Nanotechnology can be used to create discs that offer 2,000 times the storage capacity of current DVDs, according to researchers from Australia's Swinburne University of Technology. A team from Swinburne's Center for Micro-Photonics has used nanoscopic particles to create five-dimensional discs, compared with current discs that have three spatial dimensions. The researchers inserted gold nanorods onto the disc's surface, and the nanoparticles' reaction to light allowed them to record information in a range of different color wavelengths on the same physical disc location. Current DVDs are recorded in a single color wavelength using a laser.
Aside from the new spectral dimension, the researchers created a polarization dimension by projecting light waves onto the disc, with the electric field aligned with the gold nanorods enabling them to record different layers of information at different angles. "We were able to show how nanostructured material can be incorporated onto a disc in order to increase data capacity, without increasing the physical size of the disc," says Swinburne professor Min Gu.
Although the researchers still need to address issues such as the speed at which the discs can be written on, they believe the discs will be commercially available within the next five to 10 years.
From Swinburne University of Technology (Australia)
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