Project description

Currently information can be stored using a number of methods such as magnetically (hard-disk drives), optically (compact disk) or using solid state devices (flash drives/USB).  Despite the success of these different storage media there still exists a need to explore new technologies to store information at high densities. One promising technique is to encode information into a suitable surface using a sharp nanometre size tip.

The atomic force microscope (AFM) has therefore emerged as a suitable instrument for the development of ultrahigh-density storage devices. One approach involves heating the AFM tip and then producing nanometre scale indents (information) in a storage medium, such as a polymer. While this has been shown to be effective for the writing process the erasing of the indents is challenging. In this project we will explore producing arrays of nanometre sized indents, as information, in a novel sulfur polymer recently developed by the Chalker research group. This can be performed without heating of the AFM tip and preliminary experiments indicate the indent data can be erased by simply heating the polymer. Research into the writing, erasing and rewriting process is required as well as potentially modifying the polymer to improve data storage efficiency.


Associate Professor Justin Chalker

Assumed knowledge

Physical Chemistry, Nanoscience, Polymer Chemistry

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