A Russian-born physicist, who emigrated from the Soviet Union more than two decades ago, has persuaded the Russian parliament to invest in a company that would manufacture multilayer fluorescent discs. Eugene Levich heads two firms that have shares in that company, 3-DOM of Orel, Russia. The design of the discs is based on what researchers call "stable photochrome," a transparent organic substance whose fluorescence can be triggered by a laser beam so that it can be detected by a standard photoreceiver. It is possible to build up to 50 transparent layers, each with encoded information that can be read either in succession or in parallel. Companies such as IBM and Philips have investigated the technology, but the major hurdle has been the development of the complex reading devices required.