Researchers take first step towards liquid hard drives

Imagine your business data stored in liquid – sounds like something from a sci-fi film, right? Well, liquid hard drives could be about to become a reality. Scientists at the University of Michigan and New York University have taken the first step towards ‘wet information storage’ – or liquid hard drives.

The research, led by Carolyn Phillips, consisted of a simulation of clusters of nanoparticles suspended in a liquid. The nanoparticle clusters are able to reconfigure their arrangement to form different states. Normal computer bits have two states (0 and 1), but a cluster of 12 nanoparticles around a central sphere can have nearly eight million unique states.

The initial simulation consisted of clusters of four particles around a central sphere, but the researchers plan to create clusters with many more particles, so that they can eventually offer storage at a useful scale. In theory, a single teaspoon of this solution at 3% concentration could store a terabyte of data.

There are still a number of barriers to overcome before we start to see jars of liquid storage in every office and home across the globe. First, researchers need to learn how to ensure clusters hold the correct shape in a sizable volume of liquid. Second, a system needs to be devised to read the data quickly – at present, a microscope is the only solution.

It’ll be many years before we can switch out our metallic hard drives for liquid – and we dread to think what would happen if you spilt it! Care Micro helps businesses to embrace cloud computing and online backup, to save you from those situations where mechanical hard drives fail. Give us a call to learn what we can do for your business.

Liquid hard drives