We show that our recently reported microwave photonic jet technique for detection of deeply subwavelength pits in a metal substrate can be extended to optical wavelengths for purposes of high-density data storage. Three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain computational solutions of Maxwell' s equations are used to optimize the photonic nanojet and pit configuration to account for the Drude dispersion of an aluminum substrate in the spectral range near = 400 nm. Our results show that nanojet-illuminated pits having lateral dimensions of only 50 nm × 80 nm yield a contrast ratio 27 dB greater than previously reported using a lens system for pits of similar area. Such pits are much smaller than BluRay™ features. The high detection contrast afforded by the photonic nanojet could potentially yield significant increases in data density and throughput relative to current commercial optical data-storage systems while retaining the basic geometry of the storage medium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics