Multiplexed optical recording provides an unparalleled approach to increasing the information density beyond 1012 bits per cm3 (1 Tbit cm-3) by storing multiple, individually addressable patterns within the same recording volume. Although wavelength1,2,3, polarization4,5,6,7,8 and spatial dimensions9,10,11,12,13 have all been exploited for multiplexing, these approaches have never been integrated into a single technique that could ultimately increase the information capacity by orders of magnitude. The major hurdle is the lack of a suitable recording medium that is extremely selective in the domains of wavelength and polarization and in the three spatial domains, so as to provide orthogonality in all five dimensions. Here we show true five-dimensional optical recording by exploiting the unique properties of the longitudinal surface plasmon resonance (SPR) of gold nanorods. The longitudinal SPR exhibits an excellent wavelength and polarization sensitivity, whereas the distinct energy threshold required for the photothermal recording mechanism provides the axial selectivity. The recordings were detected using longitudinal SPR-mediated two-photon luminescence, which we demonstrate to possess an enhanced wavelength and angular selectivity compared to conventional linear detection mechanisms. Combined with the high cross-section of two-photon luminescence, this enabled non-destructive, crosstalk-free readout. This technique can be immediately applied to optical patterning, encryption and data storage, where higher data densities are pursued.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.90 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Moerner, W. E. Persistent Spectral Hole-Burning: Science and Applications (Springer, 1988)
Ditlbacher, H., Krenn, J. R., Lamprecht, B., Leitner, A. & Aussenegg, F. R. Spectrally coded optical data storage by metal nanoparticles. Opt. Lett. 25, 563–565 (2000)
Pham, H. H., Gourevich, I., Oh, J. K., Jonkman, J. E. N. & Kumacheva, E. A multidye nanostructured material for optical data storage and security data encryption. Adv. Mater. 16, 516–520 (2004)
Alasfar, S. et al. Polarization-multiplexed optical memory with urethane-urea copolymers. Appl. Opt. 38, 6201–6204 (1999)
Niidome, Y., Urakawa, S., Kawahara, M. & Yamada, S. Dichroism of poly(vinylalcohol) films containing gold nanorods induced by polarized pulsed-laser irradiation. Jpn J. Appl. Phys. 42, 1749–1750 (2003)
Wilson, O., Wilson, G. J. & Mulvaney, P. Laser writing in polarized silver nanorod films. Adv. Mater. 14, 1000–1004 (2002)
Pérez-Juste, J., Rodríguez-González, B., Mulvaney, P. & Liz-Marzán, L. M. Optical control and patterning of gold-nanorod-poly(vinyl alcohol) nanocomposite films. Adv. Funct. Mater. 15, 1065–1071 (2005)
Li, X. P., Chon, J. W. M., Wu, S. H., Evans, R. A. & Gu, M. Rewritable polarization-encoded multilayer data storage in 2,5-dimethyl-4-(p-nitrophenylazo)anisole doped polymer. Opt. Lett. 32, 277–279 (2007)
Strickler, J. & Webb, W. Three-dimensional optical data storage in refractive media by two-photon point excitation. Opt. Lett. 16, 1780–1782 (1991)
Heanue, J. F., Bashaw, M. C. & Hesselink, L. Volume holographic storage and retrieval of digital data. Science 265, 749–752 (1994)
Cumpston, B. H. et al. Two-photon polymerization initiators for three-dimensional optical data storage and microfabrication. Nature 398, 51–54 (1999)
Kawata, S. & Kawata, Y. Three-dimensional optical data storage using photochromic materials. Chem. Rev. 100, 1777–1788 (2000)
Day, D., Gu, M. & Smallridge, A. Rewritable 3D bit optical data storage in a PMMA-based photorefractive polymer. Adv. Mater. 13, 1005–1007 (2001)
Novo, C. et al. Contributions from radiation damping and surface scattering to the linewidth of the longitudinal plasmon band of gold nanorods: a single particle study. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 8, 3540–3546 (2006)
Sönnichsen, C. et al. Drastic reduction of plasmon damping in gold nanorods. Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 077402 (2002)
Chang, S. S., Shih, C. W., Chen, C. D., Lai, W. C. & Wang, C. R. C. The shape transition of gold nanorods. Langmuir 15, 701–709 (1999)
Link, S., Burda, C., Nikoobakht, B. & El-Sayed, M. A. Laser-induced shape changes of colloidal gold nanorods using femtosecond and nanosecond laser pulses. J. Phys. Chem. B 104, 6152–6163 (2000)
Habenicht, A., Olapinski, M., Burmeister, F., Leiderer, P. & Boneberg, J. Jumping nanodroplets. Science 309, 2043–2045 (2005)
Chon, J. W. M., Bullen, C., Zijlstra, P. & Gu, M. Spectral encoding on gold nanorods doped in a silica sol-gel matrix and its application to high density optical data storage. Adv. Funct. Mater. 17, 875–880 (2007)
Zijlstra, P., Chon, J. W. M. & Gu, M. Effect of heat accumulation on the dynamic range of a gold nanorod doped nanocomposite for optical laser writing and patterning. Opt. Express 15, 12151–12160 (2007)
Wang, H. F. et al. In vitro and in vivo two-photon luminescence imaging of single gold nanorods. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 102, 15752–15756 (2005)
Bouhelier, A. et al. Surface plasmon characteristics of tunable photoluminescence in single gold nanorods. Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 267405 (2005)
Xu, C. & Webb, W. W. Measurement of two-photon excitation cross sections of molecular fluorophores with data from 690 to 1050 nm. J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 13, 481–491 (1996)
Mohamed, M. B., Volkov, V., Link, S. & El-Sayed, M. A. The ’lightning’ gold nanorods: fluorescence enhancement of over a million compared to the gold metal. Chem. Phys. Lett. 317, 517–523 (2000)
Dulkeith, E. et al. Plasmon emission in photoexcited gold nanoparticles. Phys. Rev. B 70, 205424 (2004)
Ramakrishna, G., Varnavski, O., Kim, J., Lee, D. & Goodson, T. Quantum sized gold clusters as efficient two photon absorbers. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130, 5032–5033 (2008)
Mooradian, A. Photoluminescence of metals. Phys. Rev. Lett. 22, 185–187 (1969)
Tanaka, T. & Kawata, S. Three-dimensional multi-layered fluorescent optical disk. In Technical Digest Int. Symp. Opt. Mem. Tu-G-01 (Adthree Publishing, Tokyo, 2007)
Nikoobakht, B. & El-Sayed, M. A. Preparation and growth mechanism of gold nanorods (NRs) using seed-mediated growth method. Chem. Mater. 15, 1957–1962 (2003)
Zijlstra, P., Bullen, C., Chon, J. W. M. & Gu, M. High-temperature seedless synthesis of gold nanorods. J. Phys. Chem. B 110, 19315–19318 (2006)
We acknowledge the LINTEC Corporation for supplying the pressure-sensitive adhesive and the Australian Research Council for financial support. We thank R. Evans, W. Rowlands and D. Buso for carefully reading the manuscript.
This file contains Supplementary Methods and Data, Supplementary Figures 1-8 with Legends and Supplementary References. (PDF 605 kb)
This movie shows two-state polarization multiplexed images in three layers, read out in one shot using a CCD and a white light source. (MOV 1440 kb)
About this article
Cite this article
Zijlstra, P., Chon, J. & Gu, M. Five-dimensional optical recording mediated by surface plasmons in gold nanorods. Nature 459, 410–413 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature08053
Frontiers of Physics (2022)
Broadening the biocompatibility of gold nanorods from rat to Macaca fascicularis: advancing clinical potential
Journal of Nanobiotechnology (2021)
Plasmonic semiconductor nanogroove array enhanced broad spectral band millimetre and terahertz wave detection
Light: Science & Applications (2021)
Arbitrary polarization conversion dichroism metasurfaces for all-in-one full Poincaré sphere polarizers
Light: Science & Applications (2021)
Science China Materials (2021)