David Kirkpatrick

August 18, 2010

Ratcheting up data storage density

Via KurzweilAI.net —  ratcheting data density up a lot!

World record data density for ferroelectric recordin

August 18, 2010 by Editor

Scientists at Tohoku University in Japan have recorded data at a density of 4 trillion bits per square inch,  a world record for the experimental ferroelectric data storage method, and about eight times the density of today’s most advanced magnetic hard-disk drives.

The data-recording device uses a tiny cantilever tip that rides in contact with the surface of a ferroelectric material. To write data, an electric pulse is sent through the tip, changing the electric polarization and nonlinear dielectric constant of a tiny circular spot in the substrate beneath. To read data, the same tip detects the variations in nonlinear dielectric constant in the altered regions.

“We expect this ferroelectric data storage system to be a candidate to succeed magnetic hard disk drives or flash memory, at least in applications for which extremely high data density and small physical volume is required,” said Tohoku University scientist Dr. Yasuo Cho.

Existing data storage technologies also continue to improve. Disk drive maker Seagate, for example, has said it can envision achieving a density of 50 trillion bits per square inch.

“Actual Information Storage with a Recording Density of 4 Tbit/inch^2 in a ferroelectric recording medium” by Kenkou Tanaka and Yasuo Cho will appear in the journal Applied Physics Letters.

More info: American Institute of Physics news

February 1, 2010

Growing graphene

Filed under: Business, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:19 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about graphene so I was pleased to read this news at the physics arXiv blog on a method to produce the material at a substantially lower cost. The hype about graphene probably is a bit over-the-top, but it’s proving to be quite the miracle nanomaterial.

From the second link:

The world of materials science is aflutter with stories about graphene, a supermaterial that is capable of almost anything (if you believe the hype). This form of carbon chickenwire, they tell us, is stronger, faster and better than almost any other material you care to name.

But not cheaper. At least not yet. The big problem with graphene is making it. The only way to get it is to chip away at a bigger block of graphite and then hunt through the flakes looking for single layers of the stuff. That’s not a technique that’s going to revolutionise the electronics industry, regardless of how much cheap labour is available in China.

That’s why an announcement from Hirokazu Fukidome at Tohoku University in Japan and a few buddies is hugely important. These guys say they have found a way to grow graphene on a silicon substrate. To show off their technique they’ve combined it with conventional lithography to create a graphene-on-silicon field effect transistor–just the kind of device the electronics industry wants to build by the billion.

That’s a big deal for two reasons. First, being able to grow graphene from scratch is going to be a huge boost to the study of this stuff and its myriad amazing properties. Second, being able to grow it on silicon makes it compatible (in principle at least) with the vast silicon-based fabrication industry as it stands.

September 2, 2009

Magnetic graphene

Graphene news from Virginia Commonwealth University:

Researchers design new graphene-based, nano-material with magnetic properties

A possible pathway to simply synthesize ferromagnetic graphene

Ferromagnetic Graphone Sheet. Puru Jena/VCU.

An international team of researchers has designed a new graphite-based, magnetic nano-material that acts as a semiconductor and could help material scientists create the next generation of electronic devices like microchips.

The team of researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University; Peking University in Beijing, China; the Chinese Academy of Science in Shanghai, China; and Tohoku University in Sedai, Japan; used theoretical computer modeling to design the new material they called graphone, which is derived from an existing material known as graphene.

Graphene, created by scientists five years ago, is 200 times stronger than steel, its electrons are highly mobile and it has unique optical and transport properties. Some experts believe that graphene may be more versatile than carbon nanotubes, and the ability to make graphene magnetic adds to its potential for novel applications in spintronics. Spintronics is a process using electron spin to synthesize new devices for memory and data processing.

Although graphene’s properties can be significantly modified by introducing defects and by saturating with hydrogen, it has been very difficult for scientists to manipulate the structure to make it magnetic.

“The new material we are predicting – graphone – makes graphene magnetic simply by controlling the amount of hydrogen coverage – basically, how much hydrogen is put on graphene. It avoids previous difficulties associated with the synthesis of magnetic graphene,” said Puru Jena, Ph.D., distinguished professor in the VCU Department of Physics.

“There are many possibilities for engineering new functional materials simply by changing their composition and structure. Our findings may guide researchers in the future to discover this material in the laboratory and to explore its potential technological applications,” said Jena.

“One of the important impacts of this research is that semi-hydrogenation provides us a very unique way to tailor magnetism. The resulting ferromagnetic graphone sheet will have unprecedented possibilities for the applications of graphene-based materials,” said Qiang Sun, Ph.D., research associate professor with the VCU team.

The study appeared online Aug. 31 in the journal Nano Letters, a publication of the American Chemical Society. The work was supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, The National Science Foundation and by the U.S. Department of Energy. Read the article abstract here.

The first author of this paper is Jian Zhou, a Ph.D. student at Peking University. The other authors include Qian Wang, Ph.D., a research associate professor at VCU; Xiaoshuan Chen, Ph.D., a professor at the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics; and Yoshiyuki Kawazoe, Ph.D.,  a professor at Tohoku University.

About VCU and the VCU Medical Center:


Virginia Commonwealth University is the largest university in Virginia with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located on two downtown campuses in Richmond, VCU enrolls 32,000 students in 205 certificate and degree programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-five of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 15 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.

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