Researchers at a Melbourne University have come up with a “five dimensional” disc capable of storing 2000 times more data than a conventional DVD.
The research was conducted at Swinburne University and was published today in the journal Nature.
The discs, which are the same size as a conventional DVD, use nanostructures to add an additional two dimensions to existing disc’s three dimensional structure.
“We were able to show how nanostructured material can be incorporated onto a disc in order to increase data capacity, without increasing the physical size of the disc,” said professor Min Gu, one of the researchers involved in the project.
The extra two dimensions, created using nanostructures, are a spectral, or colour dimension, and a polarisation dimension.
To create the colour dimension the researchers inserted gold nano-rods onto the disc’s surface. The shape of the nano particle allows the researchers to record information in a range of different colour wavelengths on the same location on the disc.
According to the Swinburne researchers, this marks a major improvement over regular DVDs, which are recorded using a single wavelength of light.
The polarisation dimension was created by projecting light waves onto the disc at different angles. Because the polarisation can be rotated 360 degrees, it’s possible to record at zero degree polarisation, then at 90 degrees and so on.
The researchers concede that recording times for the discs still needs to be addressed, however they are optimistic that commercial versions will become available in the next decade. To this end they have signed a commercial agreement with Korean company Samsung.