Nanotechnology researchers in Australia are developing a format for optical disk recording that they expect will be able to store as much as a petabyte on one disk—20,000 times as much as on one Blu-ray Disc—and which they say could be in commercial use within 10 years. Using metallic nanorods in the disks, they expect to be able to store data in up to 300 layers and in five dimensions—three spatial dimensions, plus color and polarization. From a Swinburne Magazine article written by David Adams via ScienceAlert Australia & New Zealand “Future CD’s to be a digital Aladdin’s cave“:
Imagine being able to put your entire DVD collection on a single disc. And not just your collection, but also that of your family, friends and neighbours … the contents, in fact, of as many as 200,000 DVDs.
It sounds a stretch of imagination, but this is the aim of Professor Min Gu and his team at Swinburne University of Technology’s Centre for Micro-Photonics.
They are three years into a five year project that is looking at how nanotechnology — particularly the use of nanoscopic particles — can be used to exponentially increase the amount of information contained on a single disc.
…”The idea is to incorporate nanostructured material and to increase the data capacity without necessarily increasing the size of the CD or DVD disc,” says Professor Gu, who is director of the Centre for Micro-Photonics and leading the $1 million project.
Professor [Richard] Evans, who has provided components for some of the specially manufactured nanoparticles for the project, says there is also great potential for the technology within homes, particularly given the growing trend for people to make digital records of so much of their lives. “People are becoming digital ‘completists’ in their lives,” he says. “They want to document basically everything … and people will make use of whatever data space you can provide.”
Of course the real problem with putting your entire DVD and CD collection on one disk is likely to be the encryption scheme on all the originals to protect the copyright.