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A kilobyte rewritable atomic memory

Kalff, FE; Rebergen, MP; Fahrenfort, E; Girovsky, J; Toskovic, R; Lado, JL; Fernandez-Rossier, J; Otte, AF

NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY
2016
VL / 11 - BP / 926 - EP / 929
abstract
The advent of devices based on single dopants, such as the single-atom transistors, the single-spin magnetometer(2,3) and the single-atom memory(4), has motivated the quest for strategies that permit the control of matter with atomic precision. Manipulation of individual atoms by low-temperature scanning tunnelling microscopy(5) provides ways to store data in atoms, encoded either into their charge state(6,7), magnetization state(8-10) or lattice positions'. A clear challenge now is the controlled integration of these individual functional atoms into extended, scalable atomic circuits. Here, we present a robust digital atomic-scale memory of up to 1 kilobyte (8,000 bits) using an array of individual surface vacancies in a chlorine terminated Cu(100) surface. The memory can be read and rewritten automatically by means of atomic-scale markers and offers an areal density of 502 terabits per square inch, outperforming state-of-the-art hard disk drives by three orders of magnitude. Furthermore, the chlorine vacancies are found to be stable at temperatures up to 77 K, offering the potential for expanding large-scale atomic assembly towards ambient conditions.
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PROYECTO FINANCIADO POR PLAN NACIONAL DE INVESTIGACIÓN AGENCIA ESTATAL DE INVESTIGACIÓN, MINISTERIO DE CIENCIA E INNOVACIÓN. PID2019-109127RB-I00