Water and wires mix for better data storage


Water and wires ten atoms thick could be used to construct the smallest and densest storage elements ever known. The wires, three billionths of a meter wide, could be used to store 12.8TB of data in a cubic centimeter of memory. At least that's what the latest nutty professor-type research from a U.S. university envisages.

Drexel University research has found that surrounding nanoscale wires with water stabilizes their electrical charges. This means that they could be used to store data with the two potential directions of charge equating to binary ones or zeros. Nanoscale ferroelectrical materials have spontaneous and reversible electrical charges because the two electrical poles, opposing north and south poles, can spontaneously reverse. Screening material is needed to make the magnetic poles stable. The research has found that surrounding individual wires with water molecules also stabilizes them.

So far so good. However, to commercialize the technology would require other nanoscale wires to read and write data to the recording wires. It would require some way of manufacturing such a chip of material with a water jacket surrounding each nanoscale wire. There would also need to be 12.8 trillion external connections to such a chip for the read/write wires.

The Drexel press release is quite excitable about the prospects of this technology. We think it's about as likely as cold fusion becoming real. Hopefully we'll provide an update on the technology in, oh, about 25 years.

For the latest on network-oriented research at university and other labs, go to Network World’s Alpha Doggs blog.

This story, "Water and wires mix for better data storage" was originally published by Techworld.com.

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