Recently, the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (hereinafter referred to as the "Shanghai Institute of Optics and Mechanics") cooperated with scientific research units such as the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology to achieve breakthrough progress in the research of ultra-large-capacity three-dimensional super-resolution optical storage.

The research team used the world's first dual-beam controlled concentration-induced luminescence super-resolution optical storage technology to experimentally break through the diffraction limit for the first time in both information writing and reading, achieving super-resolution with a spot size of 54nm and a track pitch of 70nm. Data storage, and completed 100 layers of multi-layer recording, the equivalent capacity of a single disk reaches the Pb level, which is of great significance for my country to break through the "stuck neck" obstacle in the field of information storage and achieve the sustainable development of the digital economy.

Relevant research results were published in the magazine "Nature" on February 22, 2024.

  Optical storage technology has the unique advantages of being green and energy-saving, safe and reliable, and having a lifespan of 50 to 100 years. It is very suitable for long-term and low-cost storage of massive data. However, limited by the diffraction limit, the maximum capacity of traditional commercial optical discs is only in the order of hundreds of GB.

In the era of big data with an increasing amount of information, breaking through the diffraction limit, reducing the size of information dots, and increasing the storage capacity of a single disk have long been the unremitting pursuit of the optical storage field.

  In 1994, German scientist Professor Stefan W. Hell proposed stimulated radiation loss microscopy technology, which proved for the first time that the optical diffraction limit can be broken. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014. After more than 20 years of development, he has made great achievements in microscopic imaging, laser Optical super-resolution results have been achieved in many fields such as nanolithography, and super-resolution writing of information has been solved.

However, traditional dyes are prone to fluorescence quenching in the aggregated state, resulting in loss of information. At the nanoscale, there is also the problem of being annihilated by background noise, making it difficult to read out super-resolution information. The readout method usually relies on electron microscopy scanning. This limits the application of super-resolution technology in the field of optical storage.

Therefore, the development of media that can simultaneously realize super-resolution writing, super-resolution reading, three-dimensional storage and long-life media has been an urgent problem to be solved in the field of optical storage research for more than 10 years.

  Since the 1980s, Academician Qian Fuxi of the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Mechanics pioneered the research on digital optical disk storage technology in my country, and the team of the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Mechanics has been deeply involved in the field of optical storage.

Relying on a rich research foundation and innovative technical solutions, based on the combination of dual-beam super-resolution technology and concentration-induced emission photoresist materials, it breaks through the diffraction limit in both information writing and reading, achieving a point size of 54nm, Super-resolution data storage with a track pitch of 70nm, and 100-layer multi-layer recording has been completed. The equivalent capacity of a single disk is approximately 1.6Pb.

After accelerated aging testing, the optical disk media has a lifespan of more than 40 years, and the fluorescence contrast ratio is still as high as 20.5:1 after accelerated repeated reading. This is the first time in the world that ultra-large-capacity optical storage of the Pb level has been achieved.

  From optical microscopy technology, to today's "stuck-neck" photolithography machines, to optical storage technology, all are limited by the optical diffraction limit.

Among the 125 most cutting-edge scientific issues in the world released by Science in 2021, breaking through the diffraction limit ranks first in the field of physics.

The successful development of this super-resolution optical disc has broken through this physical problem in both information writing and reading, which will help our country break through the "stuck neck" obstacle in the storage field, and will play a major role in the big data digital economy to meet the needs of Major needs in the information industry.

  In the future, the research team will accelerate original innovation and key technology research, promote the integration and industrialization process of ultra-large-capacity optical storage, and expand its cross-application in the fields of microscopic imaging, lithography, sensing, and optical information processing, and produce More and better innovative results.

  (CCTV reporter Shuai Junquan and Chu Erjia)