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hard Disk Drives Can Store More Data

Ultra-high density hard Disk Drives, made by graphene can store up to a tenfold jump compared to current technologies.The study was published in Nature Communications, was carried out in collaboration with teams at the University of Exeter, India, Switzerland, Singapore, and the US.

hard Disk Drives contain the platters and ahead. 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. The carbon-based overcoats layers used to protect platters from mechanical damages and corrosion occupy a significant part of this spacing.

The data density of hard Disk Drives has quadrupled since 1990, and the thickness of the carbon-based overcoat has reduced from 12.5nm to around 3nm, which corresponds to one terabyte per square inch. Graphene has enabled researchers to multiply this by ten. The Cambridge researchers have replaced commercial carbon-based overcoats with one to four layers of graphene, and tested friction, wear, corrosion, thermal stability, and lubricant compatibility. Its unbeatable thinness, graphene fulfills all the ideal properties of an hard Disk Drives overcoat in terms of corrosion protection, low friction, wear resistance, hardness, lubricant compatibility, and surface smoothness.

Graphene enables a two-fold reduction in friction and provides better corrosion and wear than state-of-the-art solutions. One single graphene layer reduces corrosion by 2.5 times. Cambridge scientists transferred graphene onto hard disks made of iron-platinum as the magnetic recording layer and tested Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording. This is a new technology that enables an increase in storage density by heating the recording layer to high temperatures.

Dr Anna Ott from the Cambridge Graphene Center, one of the co-authors of this study said that demonstrating that graphene can serve as a protective coating for conventional hard Disk Drives and that it can withstand Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording conditions is a very important result. This will push the development of novel high areal density hard disk.

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