Sensor could be key to future data storage

June 28, 2002 — Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo have developed a nanoscale magnetic sensor that they say could increase data storage capacity at least one thousand times and greatly improve imaging techniques.

The project, supported by the National Science Foundation and published in the July 1 issue of the journal Physical Review B, is based on spintronics. That field employs not only the charge but also the spin of electrons in making electrical devices.

The sensor is made of nickel and employs an electrical conductor only a few atoms in diameter. The device could store the equivalent of 50 DVDs’ worth of data on a hard drive the size of a credit card, the university said.


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