Optically Addressed Nanostructures for High Density Data Storage
Final technical rept. 1 May 2001-31 May 2005
ARIZONA UNIV TUCSON DEPT OF ELECTRICALAND COMPUTER ENGINEERING
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A memory is any physical system with a large number of distinguishable states. Through the work undertaken in this program we have shown that an optical field can be used to distinguish among N different physical configurations of a nanostructure whose volume is comparable to a cubic wavelength, thus achieving log2N bits of capacity within a single resolution element. We have studied the use of near-field optical measurement together with spatially-and spectrally-selective defects to define and readout sub-resolution nanostructure storage configurations. We have successfully identified, studied, and characterized nanostructure configurations that provide optically distinguishable states with large interstate distances. We have focused on sub-resolution surface-relief structures combined with near-field detector arrays to demonstrate approximate storage densities of 25 bitsmicrometersexp 2. We extended this work to so-called nano-structured voxels in which we employed sub-resolution volumetric degrees of freedom and near-field detector arrays. We designed the data carrying volumetric defects so us to exploit a plasmon resonance in their metallic nanoshells, and we predicted significantly improved storage densities of nearly 300 bitsmicrometersexp 2. This work has resulted in an improved understanding of the interaction between space-time electromagnetic fields and various imperfect nanostructure volumes, new near-field optical characterization methods to determine the sub-resolution 3D configuration of artificial nanostructures, and new bounds on the abilities of optical fields to probe physical processes on length scales below the optical wavelength.
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