SAN FRANCISCO – IBM has announced that it can store 1-bit data on a single atom introducing single atomic storage.
Although the groundbreaking research has not yet been proven, but it has led the industry to the new horizon. IBM has recently published relevant research results in an academic journal Nature.
At present, we use hard disk to store a bit of data that lies on about 100,000 atoms. However now in the future we can achieve a single atomic storage that is 1-bit data for 1 atom. This would make a revolution in digital world. So you will able to store 26 Million songs on a only a coin size area. However, IBM’s project researcher Chris – Lutz (Chris Lutz) said that the new atomic data storing technology will take decades for practical use.
It works by placing a holmium atom (a large atom with many unpaired electrons) on a magnesium oxide substrate. By using like this, the holmium atom has a new feature so-called magnetic bi-stability. So when atoms are always kept in two different spin conditions. So atoms dwells in the corresponding magnetic field with two stable state respectively .
Single Atomic Storage schematic and technology?
Researchers uses a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to apply a current of about 150 millivolts up to 10 micro seconds on the atoms. The current into the holmium changes its magnetic spin state. Since the two states have different conductivity, the STM tip can detect the state of the atom by applying a lower voltage (about 75 millivolts) and measuring its resistance.
In order to confirm that the holmium atoms change the magnetic state, rather than by the STM current interference or influence, the researchers set an iron atom in the vicinity. Iron atoms are also affected by its near-atomic magnetic filed. So the magnetic state is easily detectable in holmium atoms in their different magnetic states. This proves that the experiment can actually store data in a single atom and there is an option to detect the bit indirectly.