Japanese researchers are using femtosecond laser pulses to write data into human fingernails.
Secure optical data storage could soon literally be at your fingertips thanks to work being carried out in Japan. Yoshio Hayasaki and his colleagues have discovered that data can be written into a human fingernail by irradiating it with femtosecond laser pulses. Capacities are said to be up to 5 mega bits and the stored data lasts for 6 months - the length of time it takes a fingernail to be completely replaced.
Initial experiments were carried out on a small piece of human fingernail measuring 2 x 2 x 0.4 mm3. The writing system comprises a Ti:Sapphire oscillator and Ti:Sapphire amplifier. Pulses of less than 100 fs at 800 nm are then passed through a microscope and focused to three set depths (40, 60 and 80 microns) using an objective lens. Each "bit" of information has a diameter of 3.1 microns and is written by a single femtosecond pulse.
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