, Volume 25, Issue 9, pp S611-S661

Optical memories implemented with photorefractive media

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We consider holographic optical data storage systems implemented with photorefractive media. Our viewpoint emphasizes the close interaction between materials and device issues. First we discuss our current understanding of photorefractive physics as it pertains to the holographic data storage problem. Then we consider architecture issues, including angular, phase-encoded, and wavelength-multiplexing techniques, and several approaches to increasing the signal-to-noise ratio of the recordings. Finally, we discuss materials issues related to crystal growth and how crystal quality impacts the performance of data storage systems. Both bulk and fibre crystal growth techniques are reviewed.