A team of scientists from Singapore have figured out a new way to increase data recording densities for hard disks – by using table salt. As reported by ZDNet Asia, all that is required to increase the amount of data on your hard drive by 6x is a mixture sodium chloride (NaCl) and nanopattering.

Table salt to increase your HDD storage capacity

Table salt to increase your HDD storage capacity

So, how is this possible? Basically, conventional hard drives have randomly distributed nanoscopic magnetic grains; whereas sodium chloride added to a developer solution in an existing lithography process can have a much more defined structure. Think of it as similar to simply dumping your clothes in your bag or folding them neatly into stacks and placing them, and you’ve understood the basics of how this works.

The scientists also believe that they haven’t maxed out the data storage densities yet and the storage can be increased to much more than just six times. Now, that will definitely mean great news for hard drives, which (as of now atleast) get bulkier and bulkier as the data storage capacities increase. The full report by the Singaporean scientists of the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering can be found here

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