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Gold Disk Could Store “Long Data” for Centuries

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Scientists have drawn on the durable power of gold to demonstrate a new type of high-capacity optical disk that can hold data securely for more than 600 years.

The technology could offer a more cost-efficient and sustainable solution to the global data storage problem while enabling the critical pivot from Big Data to Long Data, opening up new realms of scientific discovery over generations.

The recent explosion of Big Data and cloud storage has led to a parallel explosion in power-hungry data centres. These centres not only use up colossal amounts of energy – consuming about 3% of the world’s electricity supply – but largely rely on hard disk drives that have limited capacity of up to 2 TB per disk and lifespans limited to 2 years.

Now scientists from RMIT University have used gold nanomaterials in an optical disk with up to 10 TB capacity and a lifespan of six centuries.

The novel technique behind the technology combines gold nanomaterials with a hybrid glass material that has outstanding mechanical strength. Glass is a highly durable material that can last up to 1000 years and can be used to hold data, but has limited storage capacity because of its inflexibility. However, the team combined glass with an organic material, halving its lifespan but radically increasing its capacity.

To create the nanoplasmonic hybrid glass matrix,...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.