A versatile class of organic compounds has been identified as a source of potential recording layer materials for short wavelength optical data storage systems. Through modification of the structure of these materials, the strong absorption band may be tuned to any wavelength between 380 nm and 500 nm. Similar modification of other structural features permits manipulation of the physical properties without affecting the optical properties. One set of compounds tuned to 488 nm was coated onto aluminum substrates and tested in an argon ion laser drive. Tracks of pits were written in these materials at powers as low as 6-8 mW with pulse widths as low as 34 ns. Well formed pits as small as 0.4μm in diameter were observed.