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milepost! Scientists use graphene to create ultra-high density hard disk, data storage capacity increased 10 times

graphene 2021-06-22 12:57 176
Researchers at the graphene center at Cambridge University say graphene can be used for ultra-high density hard disk drives (HDDs). Compared with the current technology, its data storage capacity can be increased by 10 times: the data storage capacity per square inch can be increased from 1TB to 10TB

The study, published in nature communications, was carried out in collaboration with teams from the University of Exeter, India, Switzerland, Singapore and the United States


ultra-high density hard disk first appeared in the 1950s, but its application as a personal computer storage device did not begin until the mid-1980s. They are smaller and smaller, and the number of storage bytes is more and more dense. Although solid state drives are popular in mobile devices, ultra high density drives are still used to store files in desktop computers, mainly due to their efficient production and purchase costs


ultra high density hard disk consists of two main components: disk and head. Data is written to the disk with a magnetic head, which moves rapidly over the disk as it rotates. The space between the head and the disc is constantly reduced to achieve higher density

At present, carbon based coatings (COCs) used to protect disks from mechanical damage and corrosion occupy most of this space. Since 1990, the data density of HDDs has quadrupled, and the thickness of COC has decreased from 12.5 nm to about 3 nm, equivalent to 1 TB per square inch. Now, graphene brings researchers to a new milestone

Researchers at Cambridge University replaced commercial COCs with 1-4 layers of graphene and tested friction, wear, corrosion, thermal stability and lubricant compatibility. In addition to its unparalleled thickness, graphene also meets all the ideal properties of HDD coatings in terms of corrosion resistance, low friction, wear resistance, hardness, lubricant compatibility and surface smoothness

compared with the most advanced solutions, graphene can reduce friction by twice and provide better corrosion and wear. In fact, a layer of graphene can reduce corrosion by 2.5 times

Cambridge scientists transferred graphene to a hard disk made of iron and platinum as a magnetic recording layer, and tested thermal assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), a new technology that increases storage density by heating the recording layer to a high temperature. The current COCs can not work at this high temperature, but graphene can. As a result, graphene, combined with HAMR, can provide unprecedented data density of more than 10TB per square inch

In this process, they proved that graphene can be used as a protective coating for traditional hard disk drives, and can meet the requirements of HAMR. This will further promote the development of new high-density hard disk drives

As a result, the data density of the HDD is increased by 10 times, and the wear rate is significantly reduced, which is crucial for achieving more sustainable and lasting magnetic data recording

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