We propose a method of near-field recording in a space that is quite apart from the original source (generator) of optical near fields. The method is based on the recently developed technique of near-field holography. Experiments based on our method have shown that near fields that originate from sub-diffraction-limit-sized objects can be stored in a photorefractive crystal 2 mm apart from the crystal surface, resulting in the retrieval of sub-diffraction-limit-sized spots. This means that our scheme can provide a method for multilayer (stackwise) near-field storage and, thus, contribute to a significant enhancement of the storage capacity of near-field optical memory.
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