The future of data storage: could ‘superman storage’ go mainstream?

Scientists at the University of Southampton are offering an enticing look into new technology that is being hailed as the future of data storage, and data scanning specialists, Pearl Scan, have championed the future-proofing news.

The technology, dubbed the ‘Superman memory crystal’, uses lasers and nanostructures to record up to 360 TB of data onto miniature glass disks, and could allow people to preserve data and documents for billions of years – meaning it could potentially outlive the human race.

In order to create these technology-defining crystals, researchers use femtosecond laser writing which gives off short, intense pulses of light to inscribe information onto three layers of nanostructured dots. Each layer is separated by five micrometres, and uses self-assembling nanostructures which alter the path of light traveling through the glass in order for it to be read using an optical microscope and a polariser. The 'crystals' then reveal information in 5D – size, orientation, and the three dimensional position of the nanostructures.

“These new advances in technology are great for preserving such important parts of our history and allowing anyone in the world access to historical, religious and significant documents,” said Naveed Ashraf, Managing Director. “We have seen a multitude of developments since our inception over a decade ago, however this latest piece of technology is by far one of the most exciting.”

As the technique is both safe and portable, scientists say it could be used to preserve the records of major organisations. With the modern world relying more and more on computers, preserving past documents and important pieces of information is an important part of future-proofing, as businesses and individuals alike reap the benefits of storing vital data on computers and servers. Pearl Scan have a long history of working with businesses and specialist organisations to capture historical data to safeguard its longevity.

The masterminds behind the ‘Superman’ technology have recently used it to record historical documents including Newton's Opticks and King James Bible, along with the Magna Carta and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).


Dakota Digital for Pearl Scan

Contact: Hannah Byrne


Tel UK: 01623 428996

Tel US: 917-720-3025


Pearl Scan Solutions (Group) was founded in 2003 to support the organisations who face critical document management issues and challenges in their desire to go paperless and become more efficient. Since then, they have grown into a leading national document scanning services provider that delivers the highest quality document scanning and data capture services to enable clients to successfully unlock the true value of the information contained in their files, resulting in increased productivity, performance, competitive advantages and in most cases significant reductions in cost.



  • Dakota Digital