Jul 19, 2016

World’s Smallest Hard Drive Writes Data Atom-By-Atom

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, particle physics

Meet the world’s smallest hard drive.

Dutch scientists have developed a unique solution to deal with the data storage problem. By manipulating single atoms, researchers have created the world’s smallest hard drive capable of storing 1 kilobyte of data (8000 bits) in a space under 100 nanometers across. The technology means that all the books in the world could be stored on a device the size of a postage stamp.

In a study published Monday in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, scientists from the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) said that they have created an atomic hard drive with a storage density that is 500 times greater than current hard drive technology.

Associate Professor at TU Delft and lead researcher Sander Otte and his team found that placing chlorine atoms on a copper surface created the perfect square grid. A hole appears in the grid when an atom is missing. Using a scanning tunneling microscope, scientists were able to move atoms around one by one and even drag individual atoms toward the hole.

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