A novel hybrid shift multiplexing method for collinear holographic data storage (CHDS) by using orthogonal reference patterns (RPs) is proposed, analyzed, and demonstrated. For this method, holograms are multiplexed by not only shifting the media but also using different RPs. Compared with the traditional method, the shift pitch for the hybrid method is substantially reduced because of the selectivity introduced by different RPs. The interpage cross talk due to Bragg mismatch and degeneracy for multiplexing holograms in the same volume by using orthogonal RPs is also attenuated by utilizing the shift selectivity of the hologram. A 1.5 μm shift pitch is experimentally achieved by using three amplitude RPs in a system that would be 4.5 μm with only one RP. This new method offers an alternative to significantly increase the data density and transfer rate of the CHDS system given that the media has ideal properties.
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