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Scientists Perfect Technique to Boost Capacity of Computer Storage a Thousandfold


Doctoral student Roshan Achal (left) used nanotechnology perfected by professor Robert Wolkow (right) to create atomic-scale computer memory.

University of Alberta researchers have refined a method to enable a 1,000-fold enlargement of computer storage capacity, and used it to fabricate atomic-scale circuits.

Credit: Faculty of Science/University of Alberta

A team at the University of Alberta (U of A) in Canada has refined a method to enable a 1,000-fold enlargement of computer storage capacity, and used it to fabricate atomic-scale circuits.

U of A's Roshan Achal, Robert Wolkow, and their colleagues successfully encoded the entire alphabet at a density of 138 terabytes per square inch, the rough equivalent of writing 350,000 letters on a grain of rice.

Achal says, "Our memory is stable well above room temperature and precise down to the atom." He also says he sees applications for the technology in data archiving, and the research next will seek to boost read and write speeds for even more flexible uses.

The team's atomic-scale circuits permit the rapid removal or replacement of single hydrogen atoms, an innovation that renders the memory rewritable, so it could give rise to much more efficient types of solid-state drives for computers.

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