We explored a number of factors affecting the properties relevant to holographic optical data storage by using a two-color recording scheme in reduced, near-stoichiometric lithium niobate. Two-color, or photon-gated, recording is achieved by use of 852-nm information-carrying beams and 488-nm gating light. Readout at 852 nm is nondestructive, with a gating ratio of ∼10<sup>4</sup>. Recording sensitivity, gating ratio, dynamic range, and dark decay were measured for crystals of differing stoichiometry, degree of reduction, wavelength of the gating light, temperature, and optical power density. The two-color sensitivity per incident photon is still somewhat less than that of the one-color process at 488 nm for ∼1 W/cm<sup>2</sup> of gating light but is essentially the same in terms of absorbed photons. Two-color recording is an attractive way of achieving nondestructive readout in a read–write material, and it allows selective optical erasure.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(090.2900) Holography : Optical storage materials
(160.5320) Materials : Photorefractive materials
(190.4180) Nonlinear optics : Multiphoton processes
(210.2860) Optical data storage : Holographic and volume memories
(210.4810) Optical data storage : Optical storage-recording materials
Harald Guenther, Roger Macfarlane, Yasunori Furukawa, Kenji Kitamura, and Ratnakar Neurgaonkar, "Two-Color Holography in Reduced Near-Stoichiometric Lithium Niobate," Appl. Opt. 37, 7611-7623 (1998)