Researchers at the Cambridge Graphene Centre have demonstrated that graphene may be utilized for ultra-high density hard disk drives (HDD), with up to a tenfold improvement over present technology.
The research was done in partnership with researchers from the University of Exeter, India, Switzerland, Singapore, and the United States, and was published in Nature Communications.
HDDs were first introduced in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that they became popular as storage devices. They’ve shrunk in size and density as the amount of stored bytes has increased. While solid state drives are quite popular now, hard disk drives (HDDs) are still utilized to store files, owing to their low production and purchasing costs.
HDDs contain two major components: platters and a head. Data are written on the platters using a magnetic head, which moves rapidly above them as they spin. The space between head and platter is continually decreasing to enable higher densities.
Currently, carbon-based overcoats (COCs) – layers used to protect platters from mechanical damages and corrosion – occupy a significant part of this spacing. The data density of HDDs has quadrupled since 1990, and the COC thickness has reduced from 12.5nm to around 3nm, which corresponds to one terabyte per square inch. Now, graphene has enabled Cambridge researchers to multiply this by ten.
To read more about these ground-breaking Cambridge study result news, visit the University of Cambridge website here.