Improved Probe for Data Storage Developed
As more and more data is created, more and more data storage is required. This makes higher data densities particularly useful, but these are hard to obtain, depending on the technology being used. One possible technology for higher data densities is probe storage devices which use nanoscale probes to write bits of data onto a material. A problem with this technology is that the probes can fail due to mechanical wear, but researchers, led by Intel, have found a way to address this, as published in the American Institute of Physics Applied Physics Letters.
The device the researchers built has 5000 ultrasharp probes on it for reading and writing data into a ferroelectric film using electrical pulses. To preserve the quality of the tips and data resolution, the researchers coated them with a thin film of hafnium diboride (HfB2). This coating allows the tips to survive their high-speed movements across a distance of 8 Km, which is much longer than previous probe designs have achieved.
Though it is hard to say when this technology may come to market, the involvement of Intel definitely shows a commercial interest. Also the potential for data densities exceeding 1 Tb per square inch (yes, one terabit per square inch) is likely a motivating factor for it being used in a consumer product.