Monday, June 08, 2009

Nanotech Memory That Holds Data For A Billion Years

More ways to use nanotubes, other than space elevators ;)

US researchers have demonstrated a form of nanotube archival memory that can store a memory bit for a billion years, and has a theoretical trillion bits/square inch density.

The researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley were led by physicist Alex Zettl. They built a prototype device based on a nanoscale iron particle, about 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, moving along a carbon nanotube like a shuttle.

The nano-structure was created in a single step by pyrolysis of ferrocene in argon at 1,000 degreees C. The created nanotube elements are dispersed in isopropanol ultrasonically and deposited on a substrate with electrical contacts applied to the ends of the nanotube. The researchers say these steps are compatible with common semiconductor manufacturing techniques.

By applying an electric current, the iron particle shuttle could be made to move inside the nanotube either away from or towards the current source. When the current was turned off the particle was, as it were, frozen in position. By applying the current in a timed pulse the particle could be made to move a fixed 3nm distance in steps. The speed of movement could be altered by varying the applied bias voltage.

Source: The register

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Anonymous Laptop Memory said...

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3:14 AM  

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