Introducing the light-operated hard drives

More efficient hard drive technology.

With the increasing demand for data storage, scientists are consistently putting their efforts to fulfills this demand. Scientists at the EPFL have come up with a more efficient hard drive technology.

László Forró, the EPFL physicist, said, “The key was to get the technology to work at room temperature. We had already known that it was possible to rewrite magnetic spin using light, but you’d have to cool the apparatus to—180 degrees Kelvin.”

Scientists successfully tuned one ferromagnet at room temperature with visible light. This established the foundations of a new generation of hard drives that will be physically smaller, faster, and cheaper, requiring less energy compared to today’s commercial hard drives.

Scientists used a halide perovskite/oxide perovskite heterostructure in their new method for reversible, light-induced tuning of ferromagnetism at room temperature. Having a perovskite structure represents a novel class of light-absorbing materials.

However, the method is still experimental and expected to be used to build the next generation of memory-storage systems, with higher capacities and with low energy demands.

Forró said“The method provides a stand for the development of a new generation of magneto-optical hard drives. We are now looking for investors who would be interested in carrying on the patent application, and for industrial partners to implement this original idea and proof of principle into a product.”

The results are published in PNAS.

See stories of the future in your inbox every morning.