A novel, to our knowledge, optical readout for optical storage with phase jump is presented. In the readout scheme two coherent laser beams are focused on an optical disk with one beam scanning along pits and the other along land. When the probe beam scans across a pit, two phase jumps will take place in the interference resultant of the two beams if the phase difference between two beams is prefixed at π, resulting in a phase pulse of 180 deg. The slopes of rising and falling edges of the phase pulse are infinite, and they are not affected by the intensity variation of the light source, stray light, and the vibration of the disk. Therefore this phase pulse can be used to read out the information on an optical disk. The use of phase jump will improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the readout signal and enhance the density of optical storage. An optical readout with phase jump was constructed. Both the theoretical design and the experimental verification are conducted. Experimental results show that the proposed optical readout is feasible.
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