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Science. 1998 Nov 6;282(5391):1089-94.

Photorefractive materials for nonvolatile volume holographic data storage

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L. Hesselink, A. Liu, A. Akella, D. Lande, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. S. S. Orlov, Optitek, 1330 West Middlefield Road, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA. R. N. Neurgaonkar, Rockwell International Science Center, 1049 Camino dos.


Optically gated recording and nonvolatile readout in a digital volume holographic data storage system that uses a pair of mutually incoherent light sources during recording and only one for readout were demonstrated recently. This approach used stoichiometric lithium niobate, which after post-growth processing gave rise to an at least two orders of magnitude improvement in sensitivity over the best materials reported previously. It is also shown that by adding certain dopants (iron and manganese) to near-stoichiometric lithium niobate, the dark storage time and gating efficiency can be increased compared with previous work. The underlying physical mechanisms of gated recording and the effectiveness of the gating process responsible for this manifold improved performance are discussed, and bipolarons and small polarons are identified as the responsible photorefractive species.

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