Abstract

By exploiting photoinduced reorientation in azo-polymer thin films, we demonstrate all-optical polarization-encoded information storage with a scanning near-field optical microscope. In the writing routine, five-level bits are created by associating different bit values to different birefringence directions, induced in the polymer after illumination with linearly polarized light. The reading routine is then performed by implementing polarization-modulation techniques on the same near-field microscope in order to measure the encoded birefringence direction.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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