New production technology, based on self-assembled layers nanouzorov, was brought to a level that meets the requirements of mass production. It will allow up to five times more capacity hard drives, compared to current models.
The principle of self-assembly, which may come to replace printing or etching away of the individual patterns, already for a long time seen as a potential solution to all approaching a barrier to further increase the capacity of hard drives. Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have developed a solution to a problem that prevented mass deployment of self-assembly technique in factories.
Hard drives store data on rotating platters, encoding it in the magnetized regions of the magnetic coating. For decades, the increase in capacity was achieved through more dense arrangement of these regions. But now they are becoming difficult to locate even closer because of the occurrence of magnetic disturbances that threaten the safety of the data.
Covering disc plate physically separate points of a magnetic material, instead of a single unbroken line will greatly increase capacity, as in interference between the points will interfere with the separation of space between them. But existing manufacturing methods are not capable of creating discrete islands, spaced less than 30 nanometers apart, which would allow storage capacity comparable to that already present on the market HDDs.
A materials Grant Wilson, professor of chemistry with Christopher Ellis developed a way to create a separate magnetic islands, which are denser than lead to the existing means of production. This new method is the use of block copolymers - long chains of molecules that can self-assemble into regular and very small, repetitive patterns. These patterns can be formed by changing the combination of polymers and adding patterns onto the surface. Attaching pattern can serve as tracing paper at a point which would contain a magnetic material on the plate hard disk.
The whole process takes less than 30 seconds. At this point, the group was able to demonstrate the application of the individual components in the value of 10 nanometers. Wilson estimated, it will fivefold increase capacity hard disks.
Western Digital has already begun to study this technique to implement into existing production lines.