Researchers Transform Precious Gems into High-Tech Data Storage

By Sunil Sonkar
3 Min Read
Researchers Transform Precious Gems into High-Tech Data Storage

Diamonds, known for their sparkle and allure, are now revealing a dazzling new secret – they can store data like high-tech devices. Researchers at the City College of New York (CCNY) have cracked the code. They can now transform these precious gems into powerful data storage tools.


Scientists Richard G. Monge and Tom Delord from CCNY did something super cool. They have used diamonds to store data. They focused on something they call “colour centres” in diamonds, which are like tiny flaws where some atoms are missing.

Tom Delord, a postdoctoral research associate at CCNY, spilled the secrets. The scientists used these “colour centres” like tiny storage spots in diamonds. These spots can soak up light and that is how they stored information. Using a laser with a slightly different color, they encoded different information into various atoms within the same microscopic spots.

One typical challenge in optical data storage is the diffraction limit, which puts constraints on how closely data can be packed. But CCNY’s method ingeniously sidesteps this hurdle. The scientists changed the color of the light they used. This way, they could aim at different color spots in diamonds. It is like fitting more stuff into a tiny box.

Unlike some one-and-done solutions, the CCNY method allows for data to be erased and rewritten repeatedly. Tom Delord says their cool trick lets them read and write data. It is like they are working with super small building blocks, even down to a single atom. The achieved data density is a whopping 25GB per square inch – envision storing the entire content of a Blu-Ray disc on a space smaller than a postage stamp.

Concerns about the cost of using diamonds for data storage are natural, but the researchers have a solution in mind – lab-grown diamonds. Scientists are not just into diamonds. They are also checking out other cool materials for saving computer stuff. Like Microsoft – they are looking at using quartz glass to store data in the cloud.

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