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Message Subject Asymptotes, Asymmetry and the silicon Age
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
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[link to www.extremetech.com (secure)]

A team of materials science researchers from the US may have just made the first breakthrough that could make so-called “soft matter” a viable data storage medium — at some incredible storage densities, too. According to the new research, microscopic particles suspended in liquid could be used to encode the same 1s and 0s stored on solid hard drive platters today. They theorize that clusters of these particles could one day be used to store up to 1TB of data in one tablespoon of liquid hard drive.

The term “soft matter” is almost as fuzzy as it sounds. It can refer to liquids, foams, polymers, and even some biomaterials. What all soft matter have in common (and the important bit here) is that they have predictable physical behaviors at various temperatures — that usually means changing shape on the molecular level. The team behind the liquid hard drive, led by Sharon Glotzer and David Pine, used a type of colloidal suspension of specially designed dimpled nanoparticles. Being a colloidal suspension means the particles are not permanently dissolved in the solution and retain their expected properties (i.e. soft matter).
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