Stored data on individual atoms
IT | Apr 6, 2017 | Master3395
Could revolutionize data storage in the future.
Researchers from IBM and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) have managed to store data on a single atom, and then added an atom to for making the world lose 2-bit hard drive.
Hard drives work by using magnetic areas in them to reverse the polarity of zero to one, and then keep them there - so magnetism must, in other words be stable.
It is exactly this problem that scientists from IBM and EPFL have managed, but they had to reduce the temperature of a rare-earth metal, Holmium, to 5 kelvin - which is -268.15 degrees Celsius - and they had to use an electron scanning microscope to change the polarity of the atom.
Used iron atom to read
Then, they added another Holmium atom and were also changed polarity thereto, and then they used an iron atom, which turned direction depending on the polarity of the two Holmium atoms.
Thus they were able to change the polarity of two atoms (2 bits), and also to read this their zeros and ones numbers, and created the world's smallest hard drive.
Modern hard drives use 100 000 atoms per bit
This may of course have applications in future hard disk drives, but currently it is too inconvenient to cool atoms down to 5 kelvin and using an electron scanning microscope to read them.
Modern hard drives use about a hundred thousand atoms to store one bit, so it would be exciting for many to reduce storage density to a hundretusendel.
Here is the video that IBM Research has made about the incident:
Keywords: Harddrive, atoms, storage
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