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Want a bigger HDD?? .. Just Add Water

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Imagine having computer memory so dense that a cubic centimeter contains 12.8 million gigabytes (GB) of information. Imagine an iPod playing music for 100 millennia without repeating a single song or a USB thumb-drive with room for 32.6 million full-length DVD movies.

Now imagine if this could be achieved by combining a computing principle that was popular in the 1960s, a glass of water and wire three-billionths of a meter wide. Science fiction? Not exactly.

Ferroelectric materials possess spontaneous and reversible electric dipole moments. Until recently, it was technologically difficult to stabilize ferroelectricity on the nano-scale. This was because the traditional process of screening the charges was not completely effective. However Jonathan Spanier from Drexel University and his research colleagues have proposed a new and slightly unusual mechanism stabilizing the ferroelectricity in nano-scaled materials: surrounding the charged material with fragments of water.

All ferroelectric materials, even Spanier’s wires that are 100,000 times finer than a human hair, need to be screened to ensure their dipole moments remain stable. Traditionally this was accomplished using metallic electrodes, but Spanier and his team found that molecules such as hydroxyl (OH) ions, which make up water, and organic molecules, such as carboxyl (COOH), work even better than metal electrodes at stabilizing ferroelectricity in nano-scaled materials, proving that sometimes water and electricity do mix.

Source : http://www.windowsxlive.net/?p=837
For more info : http://www.nanotechwire.com/news.asp?nid=3305
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