High-tech learning at university of houston

University Of Houston - The dynamic University of Houston has for decades been ahead of the field in scientific breakthrough ... and now its engineers are making science fiction come true again.

University of Houston engineers are making rapid progress towards storing the entire Library of Congress on a Palm Pilot and putting 1,000 movies on a two-inch disk!

These remarkable achievements could become reality if researchers in the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering are successful in their bid to create the first nanopatterned medium recording (N-PMR) at the scale of one terabyte per square inch and explore the physical limits of magnetic data storage in units only four nanometers in size.

Dmitri Litvinov, associate professor of electrical engineering at the University of Houston, heads the new research project that recently received funding of $1.1 million from the National Science Foundation.

The project could enable the multibillion-dollar magnetic data storage industry to continue its record-setting growth rate for the next fifteen years, said Litvinov, who is working closely with co-principal investigator Jack Wolfe, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Houston. Wolfe’s recent innovations in atom beam lithography will provide much of the nanoscale precision needed for the project.

"this could be something really big for the data storage industry," Litvinov said. "the data density of magnetic hard drives has doubled every year for the past five years. But that impressive growth rate is now threatened because they’re running out of options. They’re running into some fundamental limits. Our system will allow them to extend this limit by a factor of ten - maybe more."

The current limit is set by the relationship between the density of each crystallite and the magnetic and thermal energy necessary to read and write onto the medium. Unless University of Houston research team produces results, this would bring development to a halt by 2007.

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