As data processing and storage demands continue to increase, engineers and developers from all over the glove are clamoring to come up with the next big storage solution. One of the latest innovations, known as heat-assisted magnetic recording, also known as HAMR, has recently been introduced from a recent startup out of Indiana; and it may have a vast impact on data storage capabilities of future electronic devices.
Vladimir Shalaev, co-founder and scientific director with Nano-Meta Technologies, Inc., explained what he feels to be the most exciting aspect of the new heat-assisted magnetic recording technology. He was quoted as saying: "What is promising about this technology is its ability to harness 'surface plasmons.' Doing that enables us to do more than control light — we can manipulate it. As we guide or route the light at the nanoscale level, we can develop more powerful microscopes, more efficient thermophotovoltaic solar cells, increase data storage and improve medical treatments."
The trick behind reaching even greater storage capacities through heat-assisted magnetic recording comes in the form of what is dubbed "plasmonic metamaterials," which essentially consists of amalgamated metals with advanced optical properties. These plasmonics rely on the assembly of electrons, known as surface plasmons, in order to manipulate light usage.
While these materials have already been shown to improve the efficiency of solar panel cells by as much as 85%, the exact benefit to data storage remains to be seen. However, recent estimates given by engineers with Nano-Meta Technologies suggest the technology could increase the amount of data stored in a standard magnetic HDD by up to 100 times. With hard drive capacities already on an upswing, it's easy to see how heat-assisted magnetic recording can have a profound impact on future data storage capabilities.
However, the HAMR technology is still very much in its early development phase. At the time of this writing, researchers with Nano-Meta Technologies are working to replace the gold metal used on their plasmonics with a material like titanium nitride, which offers increased efficiency and higher temperature ratings. Given the milestones they've reached thus far, however, as well as their ability to communicate with the public regarding their progress, the technology is very promising indeed.
The "plasmonic metamaterials" that are currently in development by Nano-Meta Technologies can be applied to more than just solar panels and hard drives. In fact, these materials have real-world applications in heat waste recovery as well as medical therapeutics.
Urcan Guler, a chief scientist with Nano-Meta Technologies, described some of the highly advanced materials used in the technology. He was quoted as saying: "We are using, for example, titanium nitride and zirconium nitride because these materials have exceptional strength and can withstand the high temperatures needed for performance and efficiency. But we also have identified other classes of materials for specific optical applications including transparent electrically conducting oxides and graphene-ultrathin layers of carbon."
To find out more information about Nano-Meta Technologies, Inc., including information on their team, contact information and recent press releases, interested parties can visit their website at www.nanometatech.com.
Introducing Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording
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