ARS Technica reports researchers have developed a new electron-beam litography process which uses sodium chloride (salt) to increase HDD density, enabling the creation of HDDs with a capacity of up to 18TB.
While he was a graduate student at MIT, IMRE's Dr. Joel Yang developed a new electron-beam lithography process which uses sodium chloride to enhance the developer solution. He and his research team at IMRE, in collaboration with researchers from the National University of Singapore and the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research's Data Storage Institute have refined the process, and have been able to fabricate magnetic storage media with a density of 3.3 terabits per square inch.
Yang's approach is based on bit-patterned recording (BPR), which uses a disk surface with magnetic clusters, or "islands," that prevent the bleeding of data written to one bit of storage to another through supermagnetic effects. The increased density isn't because the process generates smaller magnetic grains on the disk surface. Instead, the sodium chloride allows for more efficient distribution of them through “nanopatterning,” packing grains together in 10-nanometer clusters that form each bit. “What we have shown is that bits can be patterned more densely together by reducing the number of processing steps,” Dr. Yang said in a statement published by IMRE.