Thermomechanical Data Storage

Sponsors: 
IBM, ONR
Collaborators: 
IBM, Tom Kenny Group, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford

High density data storage is one of the key challenges for next-generation computation. Data storage techniques that involve material displacement of motion are not subjected to the same fundamental limits as magnetic storage, and therefore offer truly exceptional possibilities for data density.

Thermomechanical data storage was pioneered by IBM researchers in the late 1990's and was studied here at Stanford due to the variety of associated fundamental transport problems. This technique uses Joule heating in a microfabricated cantilever and mechanical force to generate divots in a polymer film, with characteristic dimension approaching 20 nm. The presence of data bits are read using the displacement of the cantilever towards the substrate when it returns to the same location. Areas of interest at Stanford included the design and optimization of cantilevers for optimal time constant and other figures of merit, the study of the viscoelastic polymer motion during bit formation, and the thermal transport between the cantilevers and substrate occurring during the read back process.

PROJECT PUBLICATIONS

Hu, X., Jain, A., and Goodson, K.E., 2008, "Investigation of the Natural Convection Boundary Condition in Microfabricated Structures," International Journal of Thermal Sciences, Vol. 47, pp. 820-824.

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King, W.P., and Goodson, K.E., 2007, "Thermomechanical Formation of Nanoscale Polymer Indents using a Heated Silicon Tip," ASME Journal of Heat Transfer, Vol. 129, pp. 1600-1604.

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King, W.P., Kenny, T.W., and Goodson, K.E., 2004, "Comparison of Thermal and Piezoresistive Sensing Approaches for Atomic Force Microscopy Topography Measurements," Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 85, pp. 2086-2088.

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King, W.P., Kenny, T.W., Goodson, K.E., Cross, G.L.W., Despont, M., Durig, U.T., Rothuizen, H., Binnig, G.K., and Vettiger, P., 2002, "Design of Atomic Force Microscope Cantilevers for Combined Thermomechanical Writing and Thermal Reading in Array Operation," IEEE/ASME Journal of MicroElectroMechanical Systems, pp. 765-774.

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King, W.P., and Goodson, K.E., 2002, "Thermal Writing and Nanoimaging with a Heated Atomic Force Microscope Cantilever," ASME Journal of Heat Transfer, Vol. 124, p. 597.

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King, W.P., Kenny, T.W., Goodson, K.E., Cross, G., Despont, M., Durig, U., Rothuizen, H., Binnig, G.K., and Vettiger, P., 2001, "Atomic Force Microscope Cantilevers for Combined Thermomechanical Data Writing and Reading," Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 78, pp. 1300-1302.

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Durig, U., Cross, G., Despont, M., Drechsler, U., Haeberle, W., Lutwyche, M.I., Rothuizen, H., Stutz, R., Widmer, R., Vettiger, P., Binnig, G.K., King, W.P., and Goodson, K.E., 2000, "Millipede - An AFM Data Storage System at the Frontier of Nanotribology," Tribology Letters, Vol. 9, pp. 25-32.

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Chui, B.W., Asheghi, M., Ju, Y.S., Goodson, K.E., Kenny, T.W., and Mamin, H.J., 1999, "Intrinsic-Carrier Thermal Runaway in Silicon Microcantilevers," Microscale Thermophysical Engineering, Vol. 3, pp. 217-224.

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Chui, B.W., Stowe, T.D., Ju, Y.S., Goodson, K.E., Kenny, T.W., Mamin, H.J., Terris, B.D., Ried, R.P., and Rugar, D., 1998, "Low-Stiffness Silicon Cantilevers with Integrated Heaters and Piezoresistive Sensors for High-Density AFM Thermomechanical Data Storage," IEEE/ASME Journal of MicroElectroMechnical Systems, Vol. 7, pp. 69-78.

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