Bye bye Blu-ray?

AUTHOR: Inavate

Blu-ray could be set for extinction before it even takes off as researchers from the University of California publish details of a new disc that can store twenty times the data.

Craig Hawker led a team at the University in Santa Barbara in using holography to enable the whole volume of a disc, and not just its surface, to be used for storage. Hawker claims the new approach could eventually allow terabytes of storage on a recording disc the size of a postage stamp.

Although work has already begun in developing holographic data-storage devices, it is a materials breakthrough, thanks to the work of Hawker’s team, that has suddenly made the technology more appealing.

Previously, researchers were using light-sensitive polymers, the plastic normally used for holographic data storage. But lasers, used to write data into discs, caused the material to shrink. The distortion created was enough to effectively stop really high density levels of data.

Hawker created a series of highly branched monomers and showed, that when the molecules polymerised, the volume change was much smaller than from previous photopolymers. In this way he managed to minimise the shrinkage to a point where it was no longer a problem.