Protein-based volumetric memories

Jeffrey A. Stuart, Edward J. Schmidt, Anakarin Kusnetzow, A. F. Lawrence, Q. W. Song, Bryan W. Vought, Kevin J. Wise, Deepak Singh, Robert R. Birge

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Articlepeer-review


This paper will explore the use of the protein, bacteriorhodopsin, as the photoactive recording medium in an optical three-dimensional memory. Although this protein has been used previously as the photoactive medium in a number of three-dimensional architectures (e.g., holographic and two-photon), a sequential one-photon volumetric architecture employing a photochemical branching reaction characteristic of the protein is currently showing the most promise. This unique branching reaction allows for long-term data storage by the protein, and rigorously excludes unwanted photochemistry. During the past two years, two prototypes have been constructed, and the preliminary results look promising. The use of chemical modification and genetic engineering of the protein has improved data reliability by roughly five-fold, but reliability remains an issue. Some of the key problems will be discussed. In addition, the use of gray-scale and polarization multiplexing to increase the storage capacity will be examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-194
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1998
EventProceedings of the 1998 Conference on Advanced Optical Memories and Interfaces to Computer Storage -
Duration: Jul 22 1998Jul 24 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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