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Aussies claim DVD technology breakthrough -

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PETER CAVE: Australian scientists have developed a DVD technology that can store 2,000 times more
information than a standard disc.

Researchers at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne say the new technology stores
data in five dimensions, making it possible to pack more onto higher capacity discs.

The breakthrough has been published in the scientific journal "Nature".

Bronwyn Herbert reports.

BRONWYN HERBERT: High-definition DVDs capable of storing movies and archives just got a whole lot
smarter. Scientists from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne have used nanotechnology
to increase the physical size of DVDs.

Dr James Chon says the breakthrough involves five-dimension technology, three spatial and two
virtual, and can dramatically boost storage capacity.

JAMES CHON: At the moment the current DVD and blue-ray DVD technologies only use two-dimensional
recording, which means that it only uses one thin layer of recording media inside of a vast DVD

And what we are proposing is that we can use up all the rest of the volume by stacking each layers.
And on top of that, at each layer you have additional two ways of encoding - one is colour, and the
other one is, being polarisation.

So this means that you could record much more full high-definition movies and archival, you can use
this for archival purposes and so on.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Just how much more capacity would it have, say than a standard DVD?

JAMES CHON: Standard DVD at the moment has five gigabytes on one single layer and that holds one
standard-definition movie; and blue-ray DVD has 25 gigabytes on one side, and that holds one full
high-definition movie.

What we have demonstrated is 1.6 terabytes on single disc, and that's in the laboratory conditions,
but with an optimisation this can be further increased up to 10 terabytes.

BRONWYN HERBERT: So how many movies is that?

JAMES CHON: (Laughs) I just did a quick calculation. It turns out to be for, 10 terabytes is 400
full high-definition movies and 2,000 standard-definition movies.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The research was published in the scientific journal "Nature". Dr Chon says they
inserted gold nanorods onto discs to allow a range of different colour waves to form.

JAMES CHON: These nanotechnological particles are about the size of 50 nanometres or less, which
means it's about one-billionth of a metre, or 0.1-billionth of a metre. And these nanorods because
of its shape, of rod shape, it can respond to different directions of polarisation. As well, by
varying the length of it, it can respond to different colours of light.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Dr Chon says there are still obstacles to overcome, including the speed at which
discs can be copied. He says they've signed an agreement with a technology distributor but a
commercial product is still at least five years away.

JAMES CHON: This is just a proof-of-principle experiment, so we are planning to go into silver
rods, which will definitely bring down the cost. But when we calculated the actual cost using the
current gold nanorods it was less than 5 cents per disc, at least for the material costs. So it's
not prohibitively expensive.

PETER CAVE: Dr James Chon from the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, ending that
report from Bronwyn Herbert.