We propose a new, to our knowledge, monolithic multilayer optical storage medium in which data may be stored through the diffusional redistribution of fluorescent molecules within a polymer host. The active portion of the medium consists of a photopolymer doped with a fluorescent dye that is polymerized at the focal point of a high-numerical-aperture lens. We believe that as fluorescent molecules bond to the polymer matrix they become more highly concentrated in the polymerized regions, resulting in the modulated data pattern. Since data readout is based on detection of fluorescence rather than index modulation as in other photopolymer-based memories, the problems of media shrinkage and optical scatter are of less concern. An intensity threshold observed in the recording response of this material due to the presence of inhibitor molecules in the photopolymer allows for the three-dimensional confinement of recorded bits and therefore multilayer recording. The nonlinear recording characteristics of this material were investigated through a simple model of photopolymerization and diffusion and verified experimentally. Both single-layer and multilayer recordings were demonstrated.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 2, 1998
Revised Manuscript: September 23, 1999
Published: April 10, 2000
Mark M. Wang and Sadik C. Esener, "Three-dimensional optical data storage in a fluorescent dye-doped photopolymer," Appl. Opt. 39, 1826-1834 (2000)