Researchers Successfully Store Data On World’s First Chemical Hard Drive “Chit”

chemical momory chit
Credit: IPC PAS, Grzegorz Krzyzewski

Short Bytes: Researchers at IPS PAS in Warsaw have developed a kind of memory tech which stores data in oscillating three chemical droplets kept in contact with each other. Chit is the very basic unit of the chemical memory which can store one bit of information. The memory is still in development stage and might take years to land on your devices.

How do our devices store data? Traditional computer hardware stores information in the form of bits made up of binary numbers (0s and 1s) while the newer quantum computers have qubits for the same purpose.

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Some people might’ve thought there should be another way to store data other than what we could leverage today. That’s why the researchers at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS) have created the initial version of a storage technology that can store information in chemical droplets.

The very basic unit – made up of three droplets in contact with each other – of the memory is known as Chit. It is capable of storing 1 bit of data. Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction which follows an oscillatory course and serves as the driving force behind the existence of the chemical bit or Chit.

The required reagents of the chemical reaction are reconstituted in the solution when one cycle is over. Around tens of thousands of oscillations happen before the reaction stops. A change in color of the solution, because of the reaction catalyst Ferroin, accompanies these oscillations.

Another catalyst Ruthenium is used by the researchers to make the BZ reaction photosensitive. When a blue light is thrown, the oscillations stop and eventually the reaction, giving the researchers more control over the reaction.

You can read the original story on Science Daily for more science stuff regarding the chemical memory.

Dr. Konrad Gizynski, along with Prof. Jerzy Gorecki, demonstrated the new kind of memory using oscillating droplets. He says that their chemical bit has higher potential than the classical bit. “The rotational modes we used to record states 0 and 1 had the shortest oscillation periods of 18.7 and 19.5 seconds, respectively. So if the system oscillated any slower, we could talk about an additional third logic state,” he said.

However, the research is still in its early stages. The reactions only account for storing information and physical methods are required for reading and writing data. It can be several years or even a decade before our computer could have chemical memory.

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Aditya Tiwari

Aditya Tiwari

Aditya likes to cover topics related to Microsoft, Windows 10, Apple Watch, and interesting gadgets. But when he is not working, you can find him binge-watching random videos on YouTube (after he has wasted an hour on Netflix trying to find a good show). Reach out at [email protected]
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