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澳大利亚推出容量1万G超级DVD可存两千部电影

发布日期:[2009-8-13]    共阅[3645]次
    澳大利亚科学家日前宣布,他们成功开发出可存储2000部电影的新一代DVD,这项技术或宣告三维电视和超高清晰视觉享受时代的来临。研究结果刊登在最新一期《自然》杂志上。
  “超级DVD”的大小和厚度与正常碟片无异,可以使用纳米技术存储海量信息。科学家认为,它将在五年内上市销售,并会令我们存储电影、音乐和数据的方式发生革命性变化。这种碟片可以支持电脑存储器,或存储数千小时的电影片段。这一突破是由澳大利亚斯温伯尔尼理工大学科学家取得的,他们通过“纳米棒”——小到肉眼看不到的金质微粒——和偏振光制造出超级DVD原型。在偏振光中,光波只能在一个方向流动。
  斯温伯尔尼理工大学教授顾敏(Min Gu)说:“我们可以向大家展示,如何将纳米结构的材料合成到一张碟片上,在不增加碟片大小的情况下增加数字容量。”一张普通DVD可以存储8.5千兆字节(GB)信息,也就是说,足够存储一部电影、多张特别收藏(special feature)和一首原声大碟。
  设计用于取代DVD的蓝光碟片可以存储50 GB的信息,足够保存一部高清电影和多个高清特别收藏。然而,超级DVD却可以存储10000 GB的数据。普通DVD将音乐、图片和电脑文件当作数字代码保存记录。这些数字代码作为一系列凹点刻录在碟片光滑表面,由DVD播放机的激光器读取。
  大多数DVD有两层信息,互为重叠。激光器先是读取第一层信息,接着调焦读取第二层。超级DVD碟片可以通过两个多余的“维”——光的颜色和光波的方位或偏振——存储信息。顾敏教授说:“这些额外的维对制造超高容量碟片而言至关重要。”通过利用色彩,顾敏将个头太小肉眼都看不到的金质纳米棒嵌入碟片表面。
  纳米棒可以对光的特定波长或颜色起反应。这样一来,研究人员就能在相同的碟片表面以不同颜色录制信息。另外,他们还可以借助偏振光存储额外信息。偏振光是由只在一个方向上产生振动的光波构成。研究人员能通过特殊过滤器阻止光分裂。参与这项研究的詹姆斯博士表示:“偏振可以旋转360度。所以,我们可以在零度偏振下存储信息。紧接着,我们能以90度偏振存储另一层信息,两层信息不会产生任何干扰。”
  研究人员已与韩国三星公司就技术转让达成协议。他们承认,在超级DVD上存储信息既复杂又耗时。不过,这种技术可以令海量信息存储于价格低廉、一次性使用的碟片上。当前,人们必须利用便携式硬盘存储器去保存相同数量的数据。研究人员表示,要想使用这些碟片,用户还需购买新型DVD播放机,它们还可以读取蓝光碟片和DVD碟片数据。这种技术或会宣告三维电视或超高清晰视觉享受时代的来临.
以下是英文原文:
DVDs to harness hyperspace
Spreading into extra dimensions could help next-generation DVDs to store even more data than they currently do. The new technique could squeeze around 140 times the capacity of the best Blu-rays into a standard-sized disk.
Traditional DVDs and Blu-ray disks store data in two dimensions, and there's been a recent push to increase their capacity by creating multi-layered disks that store data across three dimensions. But, asks James Chon at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, why stop there?
Chon and his colleagues are stepping into hyperspace, by encoding information in two new dimensions — the wavelength and polarization of the laser light used to write the data. The key for his team was to find a material for the disk that could store this extra information. "When my colleague Min Gu first suggested the idea, he had no idea if such a material existed," says Chon. "Luckily, my background is nanoparticles, and I knew of the perfect fit."
That ideal material contains gold, rod-shaped nanoparticles of different sizes and orientations. When polarized light, such as that emitted from a laser, is fired onto this material, it 'melts' only the rods whose orientation matches the direction of polarization, causing them to become spherical. "Polarized light only 'sees' and records on a subset of the nanorods," explains Chon. "Change the polarization and you can record on the same volume as though it is a whole new recording medium."
Gold nanorods are also sensitive to the colour of the laser. Different wavelengths melt rods with particular length-to-width ratios. "Depending on the number of polarizations and colours of light you use, you have a number of different channels to record on," says Chon. His team have demonstrated that using two polarizations and three colours, you can pack around 140 gigabytes of information into each cubic centimetre of disk space. That allows a DVD-sized disk to hold 1.6 terabytes of data. A Blu-ray, by comparison, can store around 50 gigabytes. Adding an extra dimension by using another polarization could ramp that up further to 7.2 terabytes.
Exploiting added dimensions will also provide a new way to encrypt data, says Chon. "You can store, say, ten different patterns on the same volume of disk, and only the people who know the correct wavelength and polarization will be able to pick out the right pattern to read."
Lightning rod
"The work is unique and highly innovative," says Hisayuki Yamatsu, at the Advanced Optical Systems Laboratory near Tokyo, Japan. "It shows a new approach to realize optical memory with much higher recording density than that of the current optical disks."
Yamatsu is also impressed by the team's method of reading data, using a high-intensity, but low-energy laser, which doesn't melt the nanorods. Gold nanorods respond much more efficiently than spherical nanoparticles to low-energy lasers — a phenomenon that has been dubbed the 'lightning rod effect'. So the team used a low-energy laser to scan the surface and see which areas have been melted and which haven't, thereby reading the data.
The advantage of using a low-energy laser is that it won't accidentally interfere with data recorded on surface layers while reading from deeper layers. "For multi-layer recording, how to reduce inter-layer crosstalk is a vital issue," says Yamatsu.
Tom Milster, an optical physicist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, also likes the work. "This is the first time that anyone has discussed so many ways to store information in the same volume at the same time," he says. But, he adds, it may be tough to read the disk quickly because the information is packed so densely. "I'm a big fan of the work, but this could be a major technological hurdle for them," Milster says.
Yamatsu is also concerned that the team read and write data using femto-second lasers, which are expensive and bulky. "It is almost impossible to implement a femto-second laser to a commercial-based drive system," he says.
Chon agrees that this is an obstacle. "We are relying on the laser community to come up with a more practical solution," he says. Chon says that the team could have a prototype disk ready within five years and see their "technology flourishing between 2015 and 2025".
"But for now," Chon adds, "we have at least shown that the material for five-dimensional optics is out there."
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