Film promises massive storage

February 26/March 5, 2003

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found a way to store the 1s and 0s of digital information in a thin film of organic molecules using a scanning tunneling microscope.

The researchers stored electric charges in 0.7-nanometer areas of the film. Seven hydrogen atoms span 0.7 nanometers. The amount of data the method has the potential to store is fantastic: about 65 terabits per square inch, which is more than 1,000 times what today's highest-capacity disks hold.

There are many technical problems to be solved before the method can be used practically, however. The researchers are working on making the material more stable, increasing the rates of writing to and reading from the media, and finding ways to manufacture the material in bulk.

It will be 10 to 20 years before the method could be ready for practical applications, according to the researchers. The work appeared in the November 8, 2002 issue of Nanotechnology. -TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH NEWS \

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