With the advent of the first personal computers in the distant 50s of the last century, scientists and engineers do not regret efforts to reduce the size of information carriers. The breakthrough in this direction was the development of the team of the Technological University of the city of Delft (Holland) technology for storing data using individual atoms.
According to IBM, up to 2.5 million is created daily in the world. Terarabayt information that needs to be stored somewhere, which requires huge technological and energy costs. The existing storage systems are made on the basis of discrete magnetic material or plastic with many smallest holes. However, the possibilities for further minimization were limited.
Dutch scientists to store information decided to use individual atoms. As an experiment, a 1 kilobyte memory cell was created, which was fucked on a rectangular copper plate with a size of 95 x 125 nm (this is 750 times less than the thickness of the human hair), on which they applied a chlorine matrix.
Copper is a substrate, while chlorine atoms, strengthening each other, stabilize the matrix. As a result, scientists have created an environment with a storage density of 500 terans per inch, which is 500 times higher than that of the best commercial hard drives. In practice, this means that the text of all the books ever written can be placed on a medium size.
The storage of the atomic level information was created using a scanning tunnel microscope. Thanks to the principle of quantum tunneling, scientists were able to rearrange individual atoms from one place to another, thus encoding the necessary information.
At the moment, atomary memory functions only in full vacuum at a temperature of -196 ° C. Despite this, data storage in separate atoms —serious achievement and a huge step forward. In the near future, a team of scientists plans to bring technology to a more practical level.