AIP Digital Archive
Recently, there has been considerable interest in examining the feasibility of using proximal probe techniques as the basis for a data storage device. These techniques, derived from the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) and atomic force microscope (AFM), provide a potential pathway to reaching the ultrahigh densities needed in the decades ahead. While these techniques offer high areal density, a number of formidable technical challenges must be met, however, in order to produce a device with realistic data rate, error rate, and overall reliability. In this talk we will review some of the approaches that have been taken, including those based on the STM, the AFM, and near-field optics. We will focus on the efforts in our laboratory to demonstrate realistic data rates at reasonably high densities using thermomechanical writing with an AFM tip, and near-field recording with a solid immersion lens. The prospects for parallel tip arrays and issues of overall implementation will also be addressed. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.
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