Abstract

A three-dimensional (3D) rewritable optical memory using photochromic material is described for high-density memory. The bits are recorded in a 3D volume of photochromic material. A transformation of the photochromic molecule between two isomers with different absorption spectra can be stimulated by irradiation with appropriate wavelengths. We show that a nondestructive readout of photochromic memory is possible by use of a small difference in the refractive index of the photochromic isomers in the near-IR range. For this purpose a near-IR laser-scan differential phase-contrast microscope is used. Experimental results of 3D recording and nondestructive reading are presented.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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