Information storage in diamonds
Data and information are currently everywhere and we can find them almost anywhere. For many decades we have been looking for ways to reduce the size of physical elements to store information but increasing its storage capacity. We’ve changed from having a 728Kb floppy disk to having USB memories of up to 1TB. Improvements and development are being made at the same time. One of the new forms of storage that are currently being investigated is the one which takes place in ostentatious, striking and luxurious stones, symbol of great wealth, whose value is exorbitant. We are talking about diamonds, that will become the future of information storage in extremely small spaces. This method of storage was investigated and developed by scientists Siddharth Dhomkar and Jacob Henshaw of the City College of New York. They thought that the main advantages of storing information in diamonds were their hardness and durability, as well as their capacity. These can also be reused without losing quality and save information in its different layers. A diamond the size of a grain of rice can store the same amount of information as a DVD. This information can also be stored for thousands of years without getting lost or broken, overcoming exposure to the sun, heat or cold, due to breaking the crystalline structures of diamonds by natural causes is really complicated.
Diamonds are crystals composed of linked and chained carbon atoms that form a cubic crystalline structure forming several superimposed layers. This starts with an imperfection in the diamond structure called the nitrogen-vacant center. This failure occurs when a dispersed nitrogen atom penetrates the carbon structure, by eliminating a carbon atom near the nitrogen a vacuum space is created in the diamond and with the ability to trap electrons which is negatively charged particles. This is the place where information can be recorded in binary language.
With extremely precise laser pulses an electron can be removed or placed in this space. Following the binary system, if the defect has an additional electron it will be equal to 1. In contrast, if it lacks one it is going to be 0.
The way of putting or taking the data was made in artificial diamonds and with lasers one green and one red that indicate the presence or absence of electrons. The way to storage it is different from that one of a DVD. This is because these ones are only stored in 2D (in a single plane) and the way of storing in diamonds is 3D (as a pile of DVDs).
Progress made in terms of information technology is becoming newer and more powerful over time. At first we started saving data in huge computers in giant rooms through magnetic tapes, diskettes, CDs, DVDs and reaching USB’s and even a Cloud in which you only have to pay if you want a larger amount of storage.