Navigation Links
A billion-year ultra-dense memory chip
Date:6/5/2009

When it comes to data storage, density and durability have always moved in opposite directions the greater the density the shorter the durability. For example, information carved in stone is not dense but can last thousands of years, whereas today's silicon memory chips can hold their information for only a few decades. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have smashed this tradition with a new memory storage medium that can pack thousands of times more data into one square inch of space than conventional chips and retain this data for more than a billion years!

"We've developed a new mechanism for digital memory storage that consists of a crystalline iron nanoparticle shuttle enclosed within the hollow of a multiwalled carbon nanotube," said physicist Alex Zettl who led this research. "Through this combination of nanomaterials and interactions, we've created a memory device that features both ultra-high density and ultra-long lifetimes, and that can be written to and read from using the conventional voltages already available in digital electronics."

Zettl, one of the world's foremost researchers into nanoscale systems and devices, holds joint appointments with Berkeley Lab's Materials Sciences Division (MSD) and the Physics Department at UC Berkeley, where he is the director of the Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems. He is the principal author of a paper that has been published on-line by Nano Letters entitled: "Nanoscale Reversible Mass Transport for Archival Memory." Co-authoring the paper with Zettl were Gavi Begtrup, Will Gannett and Tom Yuzvinsky, all members of his research group, plus Vincent Crespi, a theorist at Penn State University.

The ever-growing demand for digital storage of videos, images, music and text calls for storage media that pack increasingly more data onto chips that keep shrinking in size. However, this demand runs in sharp contrast to the history of data storage. Compare the stone carvings in the Egyptian temple of Karnak, which store approximately two bits of data per square inch but can still be read after nearly 4,000 years, to a modern DVD which can store 100 giga (billion) bits of data per square inch but will probably remain readable for no more than 30 years.

"Interestingly," said Zettl, "the Domesday Book, the great survey of England commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086 and written on vellum, has survived over 900 years, while the 1986 BBC Domesday Project, a multimedia survey marking the 900th anniversary of the original Book, required migration from the original high-density laserdiscs within two decades because of media failure."

Zettl and his collaborators were able to buck data storage history by creating a programmable memory system that is based on a moveable part an iron nanoparticle, approximately 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, that in the presence of a low voltage electrical current can be shuttled back and forth inside a hollow carbon nanotube with remarkable precision. The shuttle's position inside the tube can be read out directly via a simple measurement of electrical resistance, allowing the shuttle to function as a nonvolatile memory element with potentially hundreds of binary memory states.

"The shuttle memory has application for archival data storage with information density as high as one trillion bits per square inch and thermodynamic stability in excess of one billion years," Zettl said. "Furthermore, as the system is naturally hermetically sealed, it provides its own protection against environmental contamination."

The low voltage electrical write/read capabilities of the memory element in this electromechanical device facilitates large-scale integration and should make for easy incorporation into today's silicon processing systems. Zettl believes the technology could be on the market within the next two years and its impact should be significant.

"Although truly archival storage is a global property of an entire memory system, the first requirement is that the underlying mechanism of information storage for individual bits must exhibit a persistence time much longer than the envisioned lifetime of the resulting device," he said. "A single bit lifetime in excess of a billion years demonstrates that our system has the potential to store information reliably for any practical desired archival time scale."

The multiwalled carbon nanotube and enclosed iron nanoparticle shuttle were synthesized in a single step via pyrolysis of ferrocene in argon gas at a temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius. The nanotube memory elements were then ultrasonically dispersed in isopropanol and deposited on a substrate. A transmission electron microscope provided high-resolution imaging in real time while the memory device was in operation. In laboratory tests, this device met all the essential requirements for digital memory storage including the ability to overwrite old data.

"We believe our nanoscale electromechanical memory system presents a new solution to the challenge of ultra-high density archival data storage," Zettl said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lynn Yarris
lcyarris@lbl.gov
510-486-5375
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Gladstone scientists uncover potential mechanism of memory loss in Alzheimers disease
2. Scientists synthesize memory in yeast cells
3. Penn engineers design computer memory in nanoscale form that retrieves data 1,000 times faster
4. Penn engineers design computer memory in nanoscale form that retrieves data 1,000 times faster
5. Scientists synthesize memory in yeast cells
6. Amarin Announces Publication of Pre-Clinical Memory Data in Journal of Neurochemistry
7. BioMedical Enterprises, Inc. (BME) Receives FDA Clearance for Spine Use of Its Memory Metal Implants
8. ASU researchers improve memory devices using nanotech
9. Memory Pharmaceuticals to Announce Third Quarter Results on Thursday, November 8, 2007
10. Memory Pharmaceuticals Initiates Phase 2a Trial of MEM 3454 in Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia
11. Amarin to Commence Phase II Trial With AMR101 in Age Associated Memory Impairment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A billion-year ultra-dense memory chip
(Date:5/24/2016)... TEL AVIV, Israel , May 24, 2016   ... on providing physicians with artificial intelligence, real-time decision support tools ... selected to present at the 2016 Israeli Advanced Technology Industries ... part of Israel,s 15th National Life ... to 26th at the David Intercontinental Hotel in ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... PrecisionAg® Media has released its ... Beyond. The paper outlines the key trends that are creating both opportunities and ... a lot of highs and lows as the precision agriculture market has grown ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Carolina (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... and building management solutions and services based in Aurora, Ohio, has broken ground ... established business in the Research Triangle Park area, this new location solidifies a ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider ... announced its official 25th anniversary of the business. “We have worked hard to build ... our customers for the privilege and honor of serving their product design and development ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider ... MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , ... multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex ... any combination of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. ... SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market ... the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is ... as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... BioCatch ™, the global ... the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as CEO. ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of significant ... of its platform at several of the world,s largest ... unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):