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Thursday, July 18, 2013

5D Superman style data storage possible

To demonstrate the new method, Zhang’s team wrote a 300 kB digital text file into fused quartz glass using a femtosecond laser that produced extremely short and intense pulses of light at a 200 kHz repetition rate. The pulses were sent through a spatial light modulator (SLM), which split the light into 256 separate beams to create a holographic image. A specially designed laser-imprinted half-wave plate matrix was built to control the polarization of the light without the need for moving parts. The laser-imprinted dots were arranged in three planes separated by a distance of five microns, on a sliver of fused quartz, and dubbed “Superman memory crystals” after the once-fanciful technology featured in the Superman films.