Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Massachusetts Amherst announced a new method of self-assembling nanoscale elements. The discovery may lead to dramatic improvements in the data storage capacity of electronic media, the researchers state the technology they've developed may enable the contents of 250 DVDs (almost 1.8TB) to fit onto a surface the size of a quarter.
"I expect that the new method we developed will transform the microelectronic and storage industries, and open up vistas for entirely new applications," said co-lead investigator Thomas Russell, director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at UMass Amherst, visiting Miller Professor at UC Berkeley's Department of Chemistry, and one of the world's leading experts on the behavior of polymers. "This work could possibly be translated into the production of more energy-efficient photovoltaic cells, for instance."
Russell conceived of this new approach with co-lead investigator Ting Xu, a UC Berkeley assistant professor with joint appointments in the Department of Material Sciences and Engineering and the Department of Chemistry. They describe their work in the Feb. 20 issue of the journal Science.