The three main approaches being pursued for erasable optical storage all require localized thermal excursions, which degrade the physical or chemical structure of the materials after many write/erase cycles. We recently developed a new approach to materials for optical storage, one which has the potential for improving three key aspects: data density, speed, and rewrite cycle life. This development utilizes the phenomenon of electron trapping in a class of thin film materials comprising a polycrystalline alkaline earth host doped with rare earth elements, which have been formed on various substrates.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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