Persistent spectral hole-burning (PSHB) materials based on donor–acceptor electron transfer have promising characteristics for future memory applications, i.e. high recording speed and high recording density, that cannot be matched by conventional PSHB materials. Novel PSHB materials are described in which spectral holes can be burnt on nanosecond or sub nanosecond time scales. A materials design guideline for optimizing donor-acceptor combinations is presented and goals of future work are discussed.
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