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Graphene is capable of storing data ten times higher than your average HDD

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According to research made by Graphene Flagship and its partners, graphene is capable of storing data ten times higher than your average storage.
HDD covered with graphene

Ten times higher compared to average computer memory?

Graphene Flagship has partnered with multiple research institutions that had demonstrated graphene can be used to create ultra-high-density HDDs. Through this research, it could pave the way for ultrahigh density magnetic data storage, with a rise from one terabit per square inch (TB/in2) to 10 terabits in the same space.

Looking back, HDDs appeared in the 1950sw, but their uses as digital storage equipment in PCs only took off around the mid-1980s. As time goes by, through the innovation of technology, they had become small in size, and denser in terms of the number of stored bytes. While SSDs have become popular for mobile devices, HDDs are still utilized to store files in your personal computers, for the reason of lower production costs and purchasing costs.

Platters and the head are known to be the two main components of a hard disk drive. A magnetic head, which moves swiftly above the platters as they spin writes data on the platters. The distance between the head and the platter is shrinking all the time to allow for larger density. Carbon-based overcoats (COCs), which protect platters against mechanical damage and corrosion, currently occupy a large portion of this space. Since 1990, the data density of HDDs has quadrupled, while the thickness of the overcoats has decreased from 12.5nm to around 3nm, corresponding to one Tb/in2. To make a considerable gain in data storage and reach a density of 10 Tb/in2, however, a COC thickness of less than one nanometer would be necessary.

Because conventional COCs lose most of their appealing properties below 2nm, the researchers examined friction, wear, corrosion, thermal stability, and lubricant compatibility by replacing them with 1 to 4 layers of graphene. Aside from its unrivaled thinness, graphene possesses all of the characteristics of an HDD overcoat: corrosion resistance, low friction, wear resistance, hardness and lubricant compatibility, and surface smoothness. The researchers confirmed that graphene reduces friction by two orders of magnitude and outperforms state-of-the-art COCs in terms of corrosion and wear.

A single layer of graphene decreases corrosion by 2.5 times, and multilayer graphene exhibited exceptional performance with a three-order-of-magnitude reduction in wear rate.

1-4 layers of graphene were grown via chemical vapour deposition (CVD) and transferred on Co-alloy hard disk substrates as those used in current HDD technology. The Graphene Flagship researchers also transferred graphene on hard disks made of iron-platinum (FePt) as magnetic recording layer, to test Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR)–a new magnetic storage technology that enables a much higher storage density than currently available, by heating up the recording layer to high temperatures. Current COCs do not survive HAMR’s high temperatures, but stability tests confirmed that graphene can withstand HAMR-like conditions, without degradation. Thus, graphene-based overcoats used in combination with innovative technologies, such as HAMR and bit patterned magnetic recording (BPM)–a method to pattern the magnetic media in small pillars which enable high areal density–are expected to outperform current HDDs providing an unprecedented data density of 10 Tb/in2 or more.

According to Anna Ott of Cambridge Graphene Centre, "Demonstrating that graphene can serve as a protective coating for conventional hard disk drives and that it is able to withstand HAMR conditions is a very important result. This will further push the development of novel high areal density hard disk drives."

Mar Garcia Hernandez, Graphene Flagship Leader for Enabling Material claims that "A jump in HDDs' data density by a factor of ten and a significant reduction in wear rate is critical to achieving more sustainable and durable magnetic data recording. Graphene-based technological developments are progressing along the right track towards a more sustainable world."

Andrea C. Ferrari of Science and Technology Officer of the Graphene Flagship and Chair of its Management panel has also added that "This work showcases the excellent mechanical, corrosion and wear resistance properties of graphene for ultra-high storage density magnetic media. Considering that in 2020, around 1 billion terabytes of fresh HDD storage was produced, these results showcase the potential of graphene for the mass market. Yet again, the Graphene Flagship is at the forefront of the development of cutting-edge technologies."

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Source: Mynewsdesk
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