Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have successfully recorded optically encoded audio onto a plasmonic nanostructure that is non-magnetic. This is considered to be the first ever recording of such an audio. This type of recording could be used for archival storage and informational processing.
Toussaint’s group had earlier discovered pillar-supported bowtie nanoantennas (pBNAs) made of gold. An array of gold pBNAs exhibits a specific photographic film property that was utilized for storage of audio and sound files. pBNAs demonstrate a storage capacity that is approximately 5,600 times larger than typical magnetic film that is used for analog data storage. These pBNAs hold promise for a wide array of storage applications.
The research team showed that sound information could be stored by pBNAs in two forms – as a frequency varying intensity waveform or as a temporally varying intensity waveform. They stored the basic eight musical notes along with the middle C, D, and E on a pBNA chip. The team then retrieved these notes and played them in specific order so that a tune was created.