With the rapid growth of the Internet, the amount of information available to users has been increasing explosively, generating a strong demand for information technology (IT) equipment that can keep pace with this development. In particular, storage technologies and devices with ultralarge capacity and ultrafast data access are required. Conventional mass storage technologies based on magnetic hard disk drives or on optical storage media such as CD, DVD, and successors are approaching fundamental physical limits. Also, the underlying serial, bit-oriented 2D storage concept constitutes an immanent readout bottleneck. Especially this latter disadvantage can be overcome with volume holographic storage techniques. Optical holography is inherently parallel and page oriented, and allows one to implement truly 3D storage concepts with huge storage capacity simply by using thick recording materials. In the search for future âultraâ storage technologies, volume holography is therefore considered as a potential candidate. Currently, one can observe intensified research activities concerning various aspects of this field. One of these aspects, suitable volume holographic storage materials, is the topic of two chapters in this book. In Calvo and Cheben's chapter, the fundamental principles and advances in various holographic materials, both inorganic and organic, are presented. In this chapter, we report about the chemical and physical engineering of novel low-shrinkage photopolymers, evaluate their holographic storage characteristics, and discuss the optimal use in microintegrated mass storage devices.
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