Feeds

Next big thing for hard drives: self-assembling polymers

Busting out of the density crunch

Application security programs and practises

University of Texas at Austin boffins are touting an advance in materials which could help squeeze five times as much data onto hard drives.

At a Terabit per square inch, data density is pretty impressive, but it’s getting difficult to put the magnetic elements of hard drives any closer together without them starting to affect each other.

The researchers, led by professor C Grant Willson, are looking to self-assembling polymers which would provide nano-scale structures to “insulate” the magnetic elements from each other, to allow yet-greater density.

Uni of Texas hard disk nanostructure image

The future's fingerprint: organised structures for denser hard drives.

Image: University of Texas at Austin

The group is refining a technique called directed self-assembly (DSA), pioneered by MIT and the University of Wisconsin. The original research had already been demonstrated as able to double hard drive density, but wasn’t ready for the “prime time” of mass manufacture.

In DSA, materials called block copolymers can be made to self-assemble into highly regular nano-scale patterns suitable for hard drive manufacture, the group says, following “guideposts” etched into the surface they’re coating. The Austin process is also fast, with the coating organising itself into the right pattern in about a minute.

Hard drive vendor HGST is now testing the process to see if it’s suitable for disk manufacturing processes. More here. ®</p

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.