scientists developed rewritable memory that stores information in the
positions of individual chlorine atoms on a copper surface.
The information storage density is two to three orders of magnitude
beyond current hard disk or flash technology.
Details of the advance appear in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
The 1 kilobyte memory is the work of a team led by Sander Otte at the
Technical University of Delft (TU Delft). With each bit of data
represented by the position of a single chlorine atom, the team was able
to reach a density of 500 Terabits per square inch.
However, despite its future promise, the approach is not ready for the
real world just yet. Stable information storage could only be
demonstrated at a temperature of 77 Kelvin (-196C) and the speed of
single write and read processes is still slow - on the scale of minutes.
But he added: "It is important to recognise the significance of this
accomplishment — a functioning high density atomic-scale memory device
that will, at the very least, stimulate our imaginations towards the
next such milestone."