Scientists have developed an optical disc comparable in volume to 15,000 DVDs

Optical discs, such as CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays, have some important advantages over USB drives. First of all, they are inexpensive, strong and durable. This allows you to store information on them for many years, which cannot be said about flash drives, which are designed to store data for only a few years. However, optical discs have fallen out of favor due to several disadvantages. For example, a special device must be used to read and write data to them. But the most important thing is that their capacity is very limited. For example, the capacity of Blu-ray is 25 gigabytes, and DVD is even smaller – 4.7 GB. For comparison, some USB drives hold 1 TB of information. However, it seems that scientists managed to eliminate this disadvantage – they created an optical disk with a capacity of 125 terabytes.

Scientists have developed an optical disk comparable in volume to 15,000 DVDs. Scientists have developed an optical disk with a capacity of 1 Petabit. Photo.

Scientists have developed an optical disk with a capacity of 1 Petabit

AIE-DDPR optical disks with a capacity of 1 petabit

The need for more capacious storage media is growing literally every day, as the amount of data we generate increases — from text messages to 8k video. Of course, SSDs and USB flash drives are still fully capable of their task. However, as mentioned above, they allow you to store data for 2-5 years. After this time, drive manufacturers do not guarantee the safety of information. Therefore, work is constantly underway to develop new technologies. And, perhaps, the problem has already been partly solved.

A team of scientists has created a new type of material called “aggregation-induced luminogen emission dye-doped photoresist” (AIE-DDPR). A special feature of this material is its high recording density, that is, the amount of data that can be stored in a certain area. In this regard, they are superior to all other existing storage devices, including hard drives and optical drives.

Optical disks AIE-DDPR with a capacity of 1 petabit. Optical disks are reliable, cheap and durable. Photo.

Optical discs are reliable, cheap and durable

According to scientists, these optical disks can solve the problem of storing large amounts of data in the future. They take up much less space than existing storage methods, are more environmentally friendly and, as mentioned above, cheaper.

Multi-layer recording of information at the molecular level

High recording density on AIE disks -DDPR is due to the fact that it is carried out at the molecular level, that is, it is a nano-sized recording. But the most important thing is that recording is carried out layer by layer. Moreover, the number of such layers reaches several dozen. For comparison, Blu-ray discs allow you to record data in a maximum of 4 layers.

To implement multi-layer recording, the disc contains two chemicals – 2-isopropylthioxanthone (ITX) and dipentaerythritol pentaacrylate (DTPA). ITX is a photoinitiator, that is, a substance that can react to light. DTPA is a small molecule that is even more photosensitivity, meaning it reacts even more strongly to light.

Multilayer recording of information at the molecular level. Scientists ensured high data storage density through multilayer recording. Photo.

Scientists ensured high data storage density through multi-layer recording

Thus, the use of two different substances with different reaction thresholds light and provide high data recording density. For layer-by-layer reading in the disk, two chemical substances were also used – hexaphenylsilol (HPS) and a new material AIE-luminogens (AIEgens). Both are highly fluorescent.

The distance between multiple layers is less than one micrometer (0.001 mm). During the study, which was published in the journal Nature, scientists were able to record and read 100 layers of data. To increase the storage capacity, information was recorded on both sides of the disc, that is, like on vinyl records and some DVDs. As a result, one petabit of information was able to fit on one disc, which is more than can be recorded on 5,000 Blu-ray discs.

Multilayer recording of information at the molecular level. Scientists want to improve the technology by increasing laser accuracy. Photo.

Scientists want to improve technology by increasing laser precision

But, unfortunately, the project is still far from being used for commercial purposes. For it to become viable, scientists need to improve write speed and power efficiency, as it is critical to not only store large amounts of data, but do it quickly. Scientists are going to improve the accuracy of the laser beam, which in their opinion will allow them to achieve the desired result. If the experiment is successful, AIE-DDPR optical disks can really revolutionize data storage.

Follow the link to our ZEN CHANNEL. We have prepared for you a lot of interesting, exciting materials dedicated to science.

Finally, let us remind you that Ruselectronics previously reported on the creation of optical discs with multilayer recording. These disks could store up to 1 Terabyte of data, but the technology did not become widespread.