Next Generation Write Head for Commercial Holographic Data Storage

Period of Performance: 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Displaytech Incorporated
Longmont, CO 80503
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Enormous data capacities and high read/write rates make optical holographic data stor-age (HDS) systems the most promising approach for next-generation computer mass-storage solutions. Recent breakthroughs in holographic recording media have dramatically accelerated the development of commercial HDS products, and have shifted the development focus to opti-mization of HDS optical systems and components. We propose here the development of an optimized HDS write-head component comprising a spatial light modulator (SLM) with inte-grated optical phase mask. This integrates essential optical beam conditioning functions into the write-head to eliminate recording-plane ?hot spots? that otherwise saturate the recording media, reducing capacity and fidelity. Our integrated approach uniquely accomplishes this without increasing HDS system cost or complexity. The use of innovative micro-optics tech-niques to fabricate the phase mask will allow SLM production to remain compatible with proven liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCOS) microdisplay mass-production processes, ensuring write-head manufacturability. Development of this optimized write-head component will enable compact, inexpensive HDS drives offering storage capacities from 100 GB to over 1 TB and read/write rates in excess of 1 Gb/s on removable, archival media. Such drives will have widespread application, initially in professional digital video recording and in enterprise archive and backup networks, and eventually in personal computing.