Scribed glass could be an alternative to the current technologies used to store information on the cloud, such as photos taken with our smartphones. Ultrafast lasers scribe digital information into silica glass using a new cold storage technology.
Researchers are working on using lasers to write and store information in silica glass, which will likely last forever unless heated to a thousand degrees.
They store information in tiny voxels in the glass using ultrashort laser pulses. It is a three-dimensional storage technology that allows you to control the orientations of nanogratings and use them to record information. You don’t have to store one bit per voxel; by changing the angle, you can record three or five bits per voxel.
‘For the first time, the cloud has truly provided us as a company with the opportunity to put this into practice.’
If this new cold storage method is widely adopted, a new range of laser technology will be required. Currently, researchers use relatively expensive research-style femtosecond lasers with 100-300fs, 1m pulses at 1-50nJ. The application will also necessitate the development of new high-speed modulators.
They are using optical microscopy and other techniques to improve the rate at which they can do this by leveraging advances in camera technology for consumer electronics.