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From: email@example.com (Peter Nolan)
Subject: Re: The Future of Mass Storage?
Date: 21 Jan 2003 12:19:36 -0800
NNTP-Posting-Date: 21 Jan 2003 20:19:36 GMT
I wrote to Prof. Lieber in Harvard to help me out on this one.
This is his generous reply:
First, let me restate what was said in the concluding paragraph of our
“… nanowire lasers could be developed into systems that
affect several applications for solid-state lasers, including
telecommunications and data storage, and may enable new applications
in highly integrated chemical/biological sensors, near-field optical
lithography, a host of scanning probe microscopies, and perhaps even
laser-based surgery with unprecedented resolution.”
Hence, we make no claims of high density data storage.
To perhaps help you out, let me suggest how-- with the caveat of much
work needed as we explicitly state in the paper-- one could think
about high density optical data storage with the nanowire lasers in
the context of relatively conventional optical storage. (1) The
nanowire laser cavities are prepared independently of final devices
and then asssembled into active devices; thus it is possible to grow a
suite of different materials, each of which emits light in different
spectral region from UV to NIR, and subsequently combine them into
device arrays in a manner simply not possible with conventional diode
lasers. (2) Hence, one could fabricate in a single read/write head an
array of laser sources each emitting different wavelengths and capable
of writing in different layers of a recording medium (not simply two
layers but many). (3) In addition/alternatively, one should recognize
that it is possible to make these arrays of sources quite dense since
the diameter of the nanowire laser is typically on order of 100 nm.
Hence, 'near-field' writing/reading could be used to produce
subwavelength bits, and because arrays of the lasers-- either single
or multicolor can be made-- massively parallel writing reading could
Please keep in mind the above is as much a vision of how this could be
done as anything. I believe the above are phyisically reasonable based
on what has been accomplished in the cited Nature paper and my group's
previous work on arrays of devices but there really is a tremendous
amount of work required to realize such a vision.
Best regards, Charles
At 03:21 PM 1/21/2003 +0000, you wrote:
Hello Prof. Lieber,
I'm a member of the IOP(Institute of Physics) based in London and
receive messages about the latest research.
The following e-alert came in yesterday and it describes work you are
Nanowire lasers go electric (Jan 16)
Scientists have shown for the first time that a single-crystal
can act as an efficient electrically driven laser. Charles Lieber
colleagues at Harvard University believe that such nanoscale lasers
be made to emit over wide range of wavelengths for a variety of
applications, including telecommunications and high density data
(X Duan et al. 2003 Nature 421 241).
I subscribe to a most excellent newsgroup called
sci.electronics.design and passed on the link above to the newsgroup
for those who might be interested in reading it.
As you can see from what is written above the writer predicts that
nanowire lasers could be used to make high density data storage
devices but I'm in a bit of a pickle now because I probably do not
understand how the whole thing might work and need to explain this to
those subscribers in the newsgroup who fail to see how nanowire lasers
could be used for high density data storage.
I assumed from the start that when the laser is on this would be a
readable logic 1 but I must admit Professor I am in reality quite
I would be most grateful to you if you could explain to me in a line
or two how nanowire lasers could bring about high density data
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