Researchers of Sakhrat Khizroev’s lab at the University of California are working on Nanolasers so small that one day they could be employed in making upto 10 Terabit hard disk drives. With the continous minituarization magnetic storage technology is quickly reaching its limit and further increase in storage capacities can only be possible with nanotechnology coming to rescue in some form or the other.
The latest technology is based on the nanolasers which can concentrate light on areas of disk as small as 30nm when combined with 250 nanowatts of power which is just sufficient to store infomation. The new technology which uses nanolasers and magnetism to focus/write bits of data on smaller areas of disk and can possibly provide storage upto 50 times more than the current storage. Now here comes the best part Sakhrat Khizroev an associate professor of engineering at UCR said that this development is near term goal which could be seen in as little as two years.
Khizroev said there are a number of challenges for getting the tiny disk drives to the market, including lubricating tiny parts and integrating the nanolaser with a recording head. Still, he insisted, the 10-terabit hard drive will be a near-term innovation, appearing in as little as two years.
“The implications of the ability to focus light at these scales are even more fantastic in the longer term. The use of photochromic proteins with nanolasers should help lead to nanocomputers and the ability to store still more data in smaller places”, Khizroev said. Those proteins paired with nanolasers should also impact energy harvesting and a wide range of medical applications, he added.
The researchers next goal is to refine the nanolasers to produce beams to the scale of 5-10 nanometers, for achievement of this feast they are working on improving their fabrication facilities.
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