Hereâ€™s a quick little peep at the future: a 3-D optical data storage system can record one terabyte (thatâ€™s 1,000GB) of data onto a single compact disc. Imagine this: the whole collection of historical documents at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on one DVD.
For comparison, the next generation Blu-Ray format can record 25GB on a single layer, 50 GB on two layers; and it stops there. The new tech can pack in 1,000GB.
The technology for that has been developed by Prof. Kevin Belfield and his research team at the University of Central Florida. For years scientists have been mesmerized by the prospect of three-dimensional recording in multiple layers, but Belfield and his team have now cracked the code. They call it the Two-Photon 3-D Optical Data Storage system.
The UCF team has received a $270,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to continue its work. Their work was published in Advanced Materials (2006, vol. 18, pp. 2910-2914, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.200600826).