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Seminar Report 2004 1Department of Electronics and Communication GEC Thrissur 
Today data storage is dominated by the use of magnetic disks. Storagedensities of about more than 5 Gb/cm
have been achieved. In the past 40 yearsareal density has increased by 6 orders of magnitude. But there is a physicallimit. It has been predicted that superparamagnetic effects- the bit size at whichstored information become volatile as a function of time- will limit the densitiesof current longitudinal recording media to about 15.5 Gb/cm
.In the near future century nanometer scale will presumably pervade thefield of data storage. In magnetic storage used today, there is no clear-cut way toachieve the nanometer scale in all three dimensions. So new techniques likeholographic memory and probe based data storage are emerging. If an emergingtechnology is to be considered as a serious candidate to replace an existingtechnology, it should offer long-term perspectives. Any new technology with better areal density than today’s magnetic storage should have long-term potential for further scaling, desirably down to nanometer or even atomic scale. The onlyavailable tool known today that is simple and yet offer these long-term perspectives is a nanometer-sharp tip like in atomic force microscope (AFM) andscanning tunneling microscope (STM). The simple tip is a very reliable tool thatconcentrates on one functionality: the ultimate local confinement of interaction.In local probe based data storage we have a cantilever that has a very smalltip at its end. Small indentations are made in a polymer medium laid over a siliconsubstrate. These indentations serve as data storage locations. A single AFM operates best on the microsecond time scale. Conventional magnetic storage, however, operates at best on the nanosecond time scale, making it clear that AFM data rates have to beimproved by at least three orders of magnitude to be competitive with current andfuture magnetic recording. The “millipede” concept is a new approach for storingdata at high speed and with an ultrahigh density.
Seminar Report 2004 2Department of Electronics and Communication GEC Thrissur 
Millipede is a highly parallel scanning probe based data storage that hasareal storage densities far beyond superparamagnetic limits and data ratescomparable to today’s magnetic recording.At the first glance, millipede looks like a conventional 14 X 7 mm
siliconchip. Mounted at the center of the chip is a miniature two-dimensional array of 1024 ‘v’-shaped cantilevered arms that are 70 µm long and 0.5 µm thick. A nano-sharp fang-like tip, only 20 nm in diameter, hangs from the apex of eachcantilever. The multiplex drivers, allow addressing of each tip individually.Beneath the cantilever array, is a thin layer of polymer film deposited on a movable,three-axis silicon table.
The 2-D AFM cantilever array storage technique called “millipede” is basedon a mechanical parallel x/y scanning of either the entire cantilever array chip or the storage medium. In addition, a feedback-controlled z-approaching and levelingscheme brings the entire cantilever array chip into contact with the storagemedium. The tip-medium contact is maintained and controlled while x/y scanningis performed for read/write. The millipede approach is not based on individual z-feedback for each cantilever ; rather it uses a feedback control for the entire chip,which greatly simplifies the system. However this requires very good control anduniformity of tip height and cantilever bending. Chip approach/leveling makes useof additionally integrated approaching cantilever sensors in the corners of the arraychip to control the approach of the chip to the storage medium. Signals fromthese sensors provide feedback signals to adjust the z-actuators until contact withthe medium is established. Feedback loops maintain the chip leveled and incontact with the surface while x/y scanning is performed for write/read operations.
Seminar Report 2004 3Department of Electronics and Communication GEC Thrissur Fig.1. “Millipede” conceptDuring the storage operation, the chip is raster scanned over an area calledthe storage field by a magnetic x/y scanner. The scanning distance is equivalent tothe cantilever pitch, which is currently 92 µm. Each cantilever/tip of the arraywrites and reads data only in its own storage field. This eliminates the need for lateral positioning adjustments of the tip to offset lateral position tolerances in tipfabrication. Consequently, a 32 X 32 array chip will generate 32 X 32 (1024) storagefields on an area of less than 3 X 3 mm
. Assuming an areal density of 500 Gb/in
 one storage field of 92 X 92 µm
has a capacity of 0.875 MB and the entire 32 X32 array with 1024 storage fields has a capacity of 0.9 Gb on 3 X 3 mm
. Thestorage capacity of the system scales with the areal density, the cantilever pitch( storage-field size ), and the number of cantilevers in the array.A very good temperature control of the array chip and the mediumsubstrate is required between read and write cycles. The array chip and mediumsubstrate should be held within about 1
C operating temperature for bit sizes of 

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