Blu-ray was already looking mighty fine at 25GB of storage per layer
-- and if Sony manages to make the indigo foil sheets hold 33.4GB each
, we certainly won't complain -- but Japanese researchers have discovered a compound that could leapfrog Blu-ray entirely. Scientists at the University of Tokyo discovered that by hitting 5-nanometer titanium pentoxide crystals with a laser, they could get the metal to change color and conduct less electricity, leading to what they believe is an effective new medium for optical data storage. At 5nm, the small black crystals could reportedly hold 1,000 times the data of Blu-ray at the same density, and cost less to boot -- the scholars reportedly synthesized the formula simply by adding hydrogen to the common, comparatively cheap titanium
dioxide, while heating the compound over a fire. Ahh, nanotechnology
-- making our lives easier, one microscopic crystal or tube at a time.