We demonstrate that, in nanoporous glass loaded with rubidium, atomic photodesorption and confinement determine a new regime where, depending on light frequency, atoms move from pore surface to clusters and vice versa. This process modifies the optical properties of porous glass which turns blue when clusters grow up and turns back transparent when they dissolve. Therefore light works as a pencil or as an eraser and clusters work as ink. This effect allows for printing/wiping out images and for keeping memory of the light color pulse sequence for quite long time.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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