Applied physics: Long-lasting memory storage

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A data-storage device based on silver ions embedded in glass could theoretically store 180 gigabytes per square centimetre — about 80 times the capacity of a Blu-ray disc.

Lionel Canioni at the University of Bordeaux in France and his team embedded a three-dimensional matrix of silver ions in light-sensitive glass. The ions fluoresce when hit with a laser. The researchers could control the silver's fluorescence at 16 discrete levels, coding information as varying levels of brightness rather than as the binary 'ones' and 'zeroes' that conventional magnetic storage devices use.

The authors managed to store and retrieve micrometre-sized pictures of three French Nobel prizewinners. Because glass resists wear from temperature and humidity, the authors say that it could be used for high-density information storage that lasts centuries.

Adv. Mater. doi:10.1002/adma.201002413 (2010)


  1. Report this comment #15452

    Isra Wahid said:

    It seems that we will have a terabite data storage card in the size of USB flash and we can have a complete e-book of a library within the card. People will have their own portable National Library in their pocket. Future palaeontologists will not hunting for bone fossil anymore but the card.

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