• data storage;
  • fluoran dye;
  • fluorescence;
  • fluorescent resonance energy transfer;
  • nondestructive readout;
  • polymeric materials;
  • reversible recording


One productive technique for ultrahigh resolution readout of tiny regions is the measurement of the fluorescence signal of materials. A transparent polymeric materials whose fluorescence quantum yield is changed and recorded by thermally controlling the aggregation of fluoran dyes and developers with long alkyl chains has been developed. The recording medium can be fabricated easily by casting or coating recording materials. Fluorescence is observed after annealing at 363 K for about twelve seconds and then cooling to room temperature (RT), and quenched by annealing at 423 K for a few seconds and then quenching to RT. Nondestructive readout by excitation light with a fluorescent contrast of above 10 is achieved using red, green, and blue fluorescent dyes. Fluorescence on–off switching is induced by fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET) from a fluorescent dye to a colored fluoran dye in the recording material. Fluorescence was uniformly quenched in the visible region after erasing. Since the recording materials allow the penetration of laser light due to the presence of crystals smaller than the wavelength range of visible light in both the emission and quenching states, nondestructive readout of the fluorescent signal by two-photon absorption is accomplished. This work provides an important stepping-stone for achieving rewritable-type near-field optical storage or multilayer recording.