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In computing and optical disc recording technologies, an optical disc (OD) is a flat, usually circular disc that encodes binary data (bits) in the form of pits and lands (where change from pit to land or from land to pit corresponds to binary value of 1, no change, regardless whether in land or pit area, corresponds to binary value of 0) on a special material (often aluminum[1] ) on one of its flat surfaces.

Optical discs are made using replication. This process can be used with all disc types. Recordable discs have pre-recorded vital information, like manufacturer, disc type, maximum speeds, etc. In replication, a cleanroom with yellow light is necessary to protect light sensitive materials and to prevent dust from corrupting the data on the disc.

A glass master is used in replication. The master is placed in a machine that cleans it as much as possible using a rotating brush and deionized water, preparing it for the next step. In the next step, a surface analyzer inspects the cleanliness of the master before photoresist is applied on the master.

The photoresist is baked in an oven to solidify it. Then, in the exposure process, the master is placed in a turntable where a laser selectively exposes the resist to light. At the same time, a developer and deionized water are applied to the disc to remove the exposed resist. This process forms the pits and lands that represent the data on the disc.

A thin coating of metal is then applied to the master, making a negative of the master with the pits and lands in it. The negative is then peeled off the master and coated in a thin layer of plastic. The plastic protects the coating while a punching press punches a hole into the center of the disc, and punches excess material.

The negative is now a stamper - a part of the mold that will be used for replication. It is placed on one side of the mold with the data side containing the pits and lands facing out. This is done inside an injection molding machine. The machine then closes the mold and injects polycarbonate in the cavity formed by the walls of the mold, which forms the disc with the data on it.

The molten polycarbonate fills the pits or spaces between the lands on the negative, acquiring their shape when it solidifies. This step is somewhat similar to record pressing.

The polycarbonate disc cools quickly and is promply removed from the machine, before forming another disc. The disc is then metallized, covered with a thin reflective layer of aluminum. The aluminum fills the space once occupied by the negative.

A layer of varnish is then applied to protect the aluminum coating and provide a surface suitable for printing. The varnish is applied near the center of the disc, and the disc is spun, evenly distributing the varnish on the surface of the disc. The varnish is hardened using UV light. The discs are then silkscreened or a label is otherwise applied.[31][32]

Recordable discs add a dye layer, and rewritable discs add a phase change alloy layer instead, which is protected by upper and lower dielectric (electrically insulating) layers. Th

Optical media can predictively be scanned for errors and media deterioation well before any data becomes unreadable.[27]

A higher rate of errors may indicates deteriorating and/or low quality media, physical damage, an unclean surface and/or media written using a defective optical drive. Those errors can be compensated by error correction to some extent.

Error scanning software includes Nero DiscSpeed, k-probe, Opti Drive Control (formerly "CD speed 2000") and DVD info Pro for Windows, and QPxTool for cross-platform.

Support of error scanning functionality varies per optical drive manufacturer and model.[28]

Error typesA higher rate of errors may indicates deteriorating and/or low quality media, physical damage, an unclean surface and/or media written using a defective optical drive. Those errors can be compensated by error correction to some extent.

Error scanning software includes Nero DiscSpeed, k-probe, Opti Drive Control (formerly "CD speed 2000") and DVD info Pro for Windows, and QPxTool for cross-platform.

Support of error scanning functionality varies per optical drive manufacturer and model.[28]

There are different types of error measurements, including so-called "C1", "C2" and "CU" errors on CDs, and "PI/PO (pairity inner/outer) errors" and the more critical "PI/PO failures" on DVDs. Finer-grain error measurements on CDs supported by very few optical drives are called E11, E21, E31, E21, E22, E32.

"CU" and "POF" represent uncorrectable errors on data CDs and DVDs respectievly, thus data loss, and can be a result of too many consecutive smaller errors.[29]

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"CU" and "POF" represent uncorrectable errors on data CDs and DVDs respectievly, thus data loss, and can be a result of too many consecutive smaller errors.[29]

Due to the weaker error correction used on Audio CDs (Red Book standard) and Video CDs (White Book standard), C2 errors already lead to data loss. However, even with C2 errors, the damage is unhearable to some extent.

Blu-Ray discs use so-called LDC (Long Distance Codes) and BIS (Burst Indication Subcodes) error parameters. According to the developer of the Opti Drive Control software, a disc can be considered healthy at an LDC error rate below 13 and BIS error rate below 15.[30]

Optical discs are made using replication. This process can be used with all disc types. Recordable discs have pre-recorded vital information, like manufacturer, disc type, maximum speeds, etc. In replication, a cleanroom with yellow light is necessary to protect light sensitive materials and to prevent dust from corrupting the data on the disc.

A glass master is used in replication. The master is placed in a machine that cleans it as much as possible using a rotating brush and deionized water, preparing it for the next step. In the next step, a surface analyzer inspects the cleanliness of the master before photoresist is applied on the master.

The photoresist is baked in an oven to solidify it. Then, in the exposure process, the master is placed in a turntable where a laser selectively exposes the resist to light. At the same time, a developer and deionized wat

A glass master is used in replication. The master is placed in a machine that cleans it as much as possible using a rotating brush and deionized water, preparing it for the next step. In the next step, a surface analyzer inspects the cleanliness of the master before photoresist is applied on the master.

The photoresist is baked in an oven to solidify it. Then, in the exposure process, the master is placed in a turntable where a laser selectively exposes the resist to light. At the same time, a developer and deionized water are applied to the disc to remove the exposed resist. This process forms the pits and lands that represent the data on the disc.

A thin coating of metal is then applied to the master, making a negative of the master with the pits and lands in it. The negative is then peeled off the master and coated in a thin layer of plastic. The plastic protects the coating while a punching press punches a hole into the center of the disc, and punches excess material.

The negative is now a stamper - a part of the mold that will be used for replication. It is placed on one side of the mold with the data side containing the pits and lands facing out. This is done inside an injection molding machine. The machine then closes the mold and injects polycarbonate in the cavity formed by the walls of the mold, which forms the disc with the data on it.

The molten polycarbonate fills the pits or spaces between the lands on the negative, acquiring their shape when it solidifies. This step is somewhat similar to record pressing.

The polycarbonate disc cools quickly and is promply removed from the machine, before forming another disc. The disc is then metallized, covered with a thin reflective layer of aluminum. The aluminum fills the space once occupied by the negative.

A layer of varnish is then applied to protect the aluminum coating and provide a surface suitable for printing. The varnish is applied near the center of the disc, and the disc is spun, evenly distributing the varnish on the surface of the disc. The varnish is hardened using UV light. The discs are then silkscreened or a label is otherwise applied.[31][32]

Recordable discs add a dye layer, and rewritable discs add a phase change alloy layer instead, which is protected by upper and lower dielectric (electrically insulating) layers. The layers may be sputtered. The additional layer is between the grooves and the reflective layer of the disc. Grooves are made in recordable discs in place of the traditional pits and lands found in replicated discs, and the two can be made in the same exposure process. [33][34][33][35][36][37] In DVDs, the same processes as in CDs are carried out, but in a thinner disc. The thinner disc is then bonded to a second, equally thin but blank, disc using UV-curable Liquid optically clear adhesive, forming a DVD disc. [38][5][39][40] This leaves the data in the middle of the disc, which is necessary for DVDs to achieve their storage capacity. In multi layer discs, semi reflective instead of reflective coatings are used for all layers except the last layer, which is the deepest one and uses a traditional reflective coating.[41][42][43]

Dual layer DVDs are made slightly differently. After metallization (with a thinner metal layer to allow some light to pass through), base and pit transfer resins are applied and pre-cured in the center of the disc. Then the disc is pressed again using a different stamper, and the resins are completely cured using UV light before being separated from the stamper. Then the disc receives another, thicker metallization layer, and is then bonded to the blank disc using LOCA glue. DVD-R DL and DVD+R DL discs receive a dye layer after curing, but before metallization. CD-R, DVD-R, and DVD+R discs receive the dye layer after pressing but before metallization. CD-RW, DVD-RW and DVD+RW receive a metal alloy layer sandwiched between 2 dielectric layers. HD-DVD is made in the same way as DVD. In recordable and rewritable media, most of the stamper is composed of grooves, not pits and lands. The grooves contain a wobble frequency that is used to locate the position of the reading or writing laser on the disc. DVDs use pre-pits instead, with a constant frequency wobble. [34]

HTL (high-to-low type) Blu-ray discs are made differently. First, a silicon wafer is used instead of a glass master. The wafer is processed in the same way as a glass master would.

The wafer is then electroplated to form a 300-micron thick nickel stamper, which is peeled off from the wafer. The stamper is mounted onto a mold inside a press or embosser.

The polycarbonate discs are molded in a similar fashion to DVD and CD discs. If the discs being produced are BD-Rs o

The wafer is then electroplated to form a 300-micron thick nickel stamper, which is peeled off from the wafer. The stamper is mounted onto a mold inside a press or embosser.

The polycarbonate discs are molded in a similar fashion to DVD and CD discs. If the discs being produced are BD-Rs or BD-REs, the mold is fitted with a stamper that stamps a groove pattern onto the discs, in lieu of the pits and lands found on BD-ROM discs.

After cooling, a 35 nanometre-thick layer of silver alloy is applied to the disc using sputtering.[44][45][46] Then the second layer is made by applying base and pit transfer resins to the disc, and are pre-cured in its center.

After application and pre-curing, the disc is pressed or embossed using a stamper and the resins are immediately cured using intense UV light, before the disc is separated from the stamper. The stamper contains the data that will be transferred to the disc. This process is known as embossing and is the step that engraves the data onto the disc, replacing the pressing process used in the first layer, and it is also used for multi layer DVD discs.

Then, a 30 nanometre-thick layer of silver alloy is then sputtered onto the disc and the process is repeated as many times as required. Each repetition creates a new data layer. (The resins are applied again, pre-cured, stamped (with data or grooves) and cured, silver alloy is sputtered and so on)

BD-R and BD-RE discs receive (through sputtering) a metal (recording layer) alloy (that is sandwiched between two dielectric layers, also sputtered, in BD-RE), before receiving the 30 nanometre metallization (silver alloy, aluminum or gold) layer, which is sputtered. Alternatively, the silver alloy may be applied before the recording layer is applied. Silver alloys are usually used in Blu-rays, and aluminum is usually used on CDs and DVDs. Gold is used in some "Archival" CDs and DVDs, since it is more chemically inert and resistant to corrosion than aluminum, which corrodes into aluminum oxide, which can be seen in disc rot as transparent patches or dots in the disc, that prevent the disc from being read, since the laser light passes through the disc instead of being reflected back into the laser pickup assembly to be read. Normally aluminum doesn't corrode since it has a thin oxide layer that forms on contact with oxygen. In this case it can corrode due to its thinness.

Then, the 98 micron-thick cover layer is applied using UV-curable liquid optically clear adhesive, and a 2 micron-thick hard coat (such as Durabis) is also applied and cured using UV light. In the last step, a 10 nanometre-thick silicon nitride barrier layer is applied to the label side of the disc to protect against humidity. [35][44][47][48][49][50] Blu-rays have their data very close to the read surface of the disc, which is necessary for Blu-rays to achieve their capacity.

Discs in large quantities can either be replicated or duplicated. In replication, the process explained above is used to make the discs, while in duplication, CD-R, DVD-R or BD-R discs are recorded and finalized to prevent further recording and allow for wider compatibility.[51] (See Optical disc authoring). The equipment is also different: replication is carried out by fully automated purpose-built machinery whose cost is in the hundreds of thousands of US dollars in the used market,[52] while duplication can be automated (using what's known as an autoloader[53]) or be done by hand, and only requires a small tabletop duplicator. [54]