Scientists have demonstrated the ability to make a memory stick that can write and retrieve data in a quadrillionth of a second, withstand 1000C heat and last longer than the human race.
Coined the ‘Superman memory crystal’ created five-dimensional data by femtosecond laser writing into self-assembled nano-structures created in fused quartz.
Essentially, a file is written in three layers of nano-structured dots separated by five micro-metres (one millionth of a metre).
The five dimensions are achieved by combining the size and orientation of the dots as well as the traditional 3Ds, width, height and depth.
The research is led by Jingyu Zhang from the University of Southampton.
He said: "At the moment companies have to back up their archives every five to ten years because hard-drive memory has a relatively short lifespan.
"Museums who want to preserve information or places like the national archives where they have huge numbers of documents, would really benefit."
Professor Peter Kazansky, the ORC’s group supervisor, added: "It is thrilling to think that we have created the first document which will likely survive the human race.
"This technology can secure the last evidence of civilisation: all we’ve learnt will not be forgotten."