A team of scientists at the University of Manchester has made a real breakthrough in the field of data storage: now refrigerated molecules can be used as information storage devices.
As you know, the basis of the functioning of most modern hard drives is magnetism. Magnetic grains ranging in size from 10 to 20 nanometers are capable of encoding 1 bit of data. By changing their polarization "north-south" or vice versa, they take on values of 1 or 0. The memory effect, in which a material retains the information received after the magnetic field is turned off, is called magnetic hysteresis.
However, when trying to further reduce the size of the carriers, scientists faced a serious problem. It turned out that individual molecules are not capable of magnetic hysteresis until they reach very low temperatures, on the order of –259 ° C. Researchers in Manchester solved this problem by using the element dysprosium. This lanthanide metal is capable of hysteresis at –213 ° C, making its molecules much more suitable for data storage. Currently, scientists want to increase the resulting figure even more - to –196 ° C, which will allow using ordinary liquid nitrogen as a coolant for such a storage system.
Storing information in molecules can revolutionize the way data centers work, allowing you to store about 25 TB of data in a piece of substance the size of a coin. Moreover, such a system will be more energy efficient in comparison with the current ones.
Today, such technologies are in high demand. Suffice it to say that Internet giant Google has invested more than $ 30 billion over the past three years in the construction of giant new data centers around the world.