Scientists develop technology for 1 PB optical discs

A team of scientists working for the Australian Swinburne University of Technology has developed a new technology that could allow the creation of optical disks with overall capacity of 1 petabyte (PB). In case you don’t know 1 PB consists of 1000 TB!

The new technology is based on a focal spot that is just one ten thousandth of a human hair, which enables more data to be written to a disk. To make this possible the scientists use three-dimensional optical beam lithography at just nine nanometers. The really interesting thing about the new scientific development is that it circumvents a scientific law discovered in 1873 by the German scientist Ernst Abbe. The law says that a light beam focused by a lens cannot produce a focal spot smaller than half of the wavelength or 500 nm for visible light. This law has allowed the development of important tools such as microscopes but puts a barrier when scientists have to access small structures in the nanometer scale. The use of a second light beam, however, allows the barrier to be crossed.

The new technology is still in its infancy, so the scientists cannot say anything about commercial availability but the new disks should be with us within 10 years.

Source: X-bit Labs

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