Data erasure is considered an essential requirement for a practical optical time-domain memory, and it requires that the laser used have very good frequency stability. Such a laser is developed for this work, and data erasure is demonstrated with a sample of YSiO<sub>5</sub>:Eu<sup>3+</sup> for write/rewrite pulse sequences of up to a duration of 100 μs. This is two orders of magnitude longer than had been achieved previously. Phase-sensitive detection is introduced and is shown to be invaluable for monitoring the write, rewrite, and read processes.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(030.1670) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherent optical effects
(160.5690) Materials : Rare-earth-doped materials
(210.0210) Optical data storage : Optical data storage
(210.4680) Optical data storage : Optical memories
T. R. Dyke, M. J. Sellars, G. J. Pryde, N. B. Manson, U. Elman, and S. Kröll, "Experimental demonstration of data erasure for time-domain optical memories," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 16, 805-811 (1999)