Tiny magnetic memory developed

JIJI

A team that includes researchers from Chiba University has developed the world’s smallest magnetic memory storage medium, made up of a single iron atom and organic molecules.

Its size is 1 nanometer, or one-billionth of a meter — about one-thousandth the size of magnetic memory media currently available.

The tiny medium could significantly boost data storage capacities of digital media and make information terminals smaller.

The memory medium does not require rare earth minerals, which are used widely in electronic parts. As a result this should cut production costs, the team said Tuesday.

Using a single iron atom was forecast to be technologically possible in 2009, but it proved difficult to make due to unstable magnetism. The team managed to achieve stability by covering an iron atom with special carbon and other organic molecules.