For many years magnetic tapes and discs have been the standard
method of storing large amounts of information, and increasingly
optical discs are being used for some archive operations where high
density storage is required. Optical Tape is the next logical step in the
media storage market, offering increasingly higher data storage
capacities at lower cost per byte of information than other storage
Information is written onto optical discs and tapes by use of a focussed
laser. Writing a pattern of pits that are recognised as 1s and 0s by the
computer, thus storing information using binary code as does magnetic media.
Optical Tape, unlike magnetic media, has a very smooth sensitive
active layer, this is where information is written. The speed at which
the tape moves through the tape drive necessitates a back coat to
modify the frictional properties of the tape.
This programme of work investigates the development of back coats
for two different optical tapes, from the point where it was realised
that a backcoat would be required to the production of a development
It was discovered that there was a fine balance between the degree of
surface roughness required for good handling with appropriate
frictional properties and prevention of damage to the sensitive active
layers, either during tape handling or when the tapes are archived for
A Masters Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy of Loughborough University.