In order for holographic storage applications to become more competitive, advances in recording materials are needed. To this end, two separate approaches for improving material properties are described, both of which involve various spectroscopic techniques for determining the efficacy of the approaches. First, post-growth high-temperature processing treatments are examined. These treatments combine oxidation/reduction for improved photosensitivity with hydrogen loading for efficient thermal fixing. Second, new rare earth dopants are considered for use in resonant two-photon recording with nondestructive readout.
In this paper we discuss recent advances in holographic data storage using ferroelectric SBN as the recording medium. A novel optical architecture involving an array of SBN fibers is discussed that allows 2 - 3 orders of magnitude faster access times than for conventional magnetic data storage devices of Gbyte size. To realize this potential we are studying fundamental materials issues related to SBN fiber growth and photorefractive processes underlying prolonged readout in SBN.