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The Millipede – A Nanotechnology-Based AFM Data-Storage System

  • Gerd K. Binnig
  • Giovanni Cherubini
  • Michel Despont
  • Urs T. Dürig
  • Evangelos Eleftheriou
  • Haralampos Pozidis
  • Peter Vettiger

Abstract

The millipede concept presented in this chapter is a new approach to storing data at high speed and ultrahigh density. The interesting part is that millipede stores digital information in a completely different way from magnetic hard disks, optical disks, and transistor-based memory chips. The ultimate locality is provided by a tip, and high data rates are a result of massive parallel operation of such tips. As storage medium, polymer films are being considered, although the use of other media, in particular magnetic materials, has not been ruled out. The current effort is focused on demonstrating the millipede concept with areal densities higher than 1 Tb/inch2 and parallel operation of very large two-dimensional (2-D) (up to 64 × 64) atomic force microscopy (AFM) cantilever arrays with integrated tips and write/read/erase functionality. The fabrication and integration of such a large number of mechanical devices (cantilever beams) will lead to what we envision as the very large-scale integration (VLSI) age of micro- and nanomechanics.

In this chapter, the millipede concept for a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based storage device is described in detail. In particular, various aspects pertaining to AFM thermomechanical read/write/erase functions, 2-D array fabrication and characteristics, x, y, z microscanner design, polymer media properties, read channel modeling, servo control and synchronization, as well as modulation coding techniques suitable for probe-based data-storage devices are discussed.

Keywords

Atomic Force Microscope Storage Medium Areal Density Volterra Series Array Chip 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

AC

alternating-current

AC

amorphous carbon

ADC

analog-to-digital converter

AFM

atomic force microscope

AFM

atomic force microscopy

BP

bit pitch

DC

direct-current

DRAM

dynamic random-access memory

MEMS

microelectromechanical system

PC

polycarbonate

PDMS

polydimethylsiloxane

PECVD

plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition

PES

photoemission spectroscopy

PES

position error signal

PMMA

poly(methyl methacrylate)

SEM

scanning electron microscope

SEM

scanning electron microscopy

SRC

sampling rate converter

STM

scanning tunneling microscope

STM

scanning tunneling microscopy

TP

track pitch

VCO

voltage-controlled oscillator

VLSI

very large-scale integration

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Definiens AGMunichGermany
  2. 2.Tape TechnologiesIBM Zurich Research LaboratoryRüschlikonSwitzerland
  3. 3.IBM Zurich Research Laboratory Micro- and NanofabricationRüschlikonSwitzerland
  4. 4.IBM Zurich Research Laboratory Micro-/NanofabricationRüschlikonSwitzerland
  5. 5.IBM Zurich Research LaboratoryRüschlikonSwitzerland
  6. 6.Storage TechnologiesIBM Zurich Research LaboratoryRüschlikonSwitzerland
  7. 7.SAMLABUniversity of NeuchâtelNeuchâtelSwitzerland

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