5 September 2014 Advances in macromolecular data storage
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We propose to develop a new method of information storage to replace magnetic hard disk drives and other instruments of secondary/backup data storage. The proposed method stores petabytes of user-data in a sugar cube (1 cm3), and can read/write that information at hundreds of megabits/sec. Digital information is recorded and stored in the form of a long macromolecule consisting of at least two bases, 𝐴 and 𝐡. (This would be similar to DNA strands constructed from the four nucleic acids 𝐺, 𝐢, 𝐴, 𝑇.) The macromolecules initially enter the system as blank slates. A macromolecule with, say, 10,000 identical bases in the form of 𝐴𝐴𝐴𝐴𝐴. . . . 𝐴𝐴𝐴 may be used to record a kilobyte block of user-data (including modulation and error-correction coding), although, in this blank state, it can only represent the null sequence 00000....000. Suppose this blank string of 𝐴’s is dragged before an atomically-sharp needle of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). When electric pulses are applied to the needle in accordance with the sequence of 0s and 1s of a 1 π‘˜π΅ block of user-data, selected 𝐴 molecules will be transformed into 𝐡 molecules (e.g., a fraction of 𝐴 will be broken off and discarded). The resulting string now encodes the user-data in the form of 𝐴𝐴𝐡𝐴𝐡𝐡𝐴. . . 𝐡𝐴𝐡. The same STM needle can subsequently read the recorded information, as 𝐴 and 𝐡 would produce different electric signals when the strand passes under the needle. The macromolecule now represents a data block to be stored in a β€œparking lot” within the sugar cube, and later brought to a read station on demand. Millions of parking spots and thousands of Read/Write stations may be integrated within the micro-fabricated sugar cube, thus providing access to petabytes of user-data in a scheme that benefits from the massive parallelism of thousands of Read/Write stations within the same three-dimensionally micro-structured device.
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Masud Mansuripur, Masud Mansuripur, } "Advances in macromolecular data storage", Proc. SPIE 9201, Optical Data Storage 2014, 92010A (5 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2060549; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2060549

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