More than one billion years of information storage media or will be born

University of Twente from the Netherlands Institute for Nanotechnology researchers Yeluo En De Fries (Jeroen de Vries) pointed out that in extremely long period of time for data storage is possible.


The use of tungsten etching technique to write information to the chip, may be able to save hundreds of millions of years

according to foreign media reports, carved from the rock, and now the magnetic media data storage for thousands of years, humans have been using various means to save the information. Although in the past few decades, the amount of data stored in humans appeared to grow significantly, but that the data is kept for a longer period of time is still very difficult. Information is the key to successfully saved ensure that information is not lost, but if we want to make the information stored for longer than humanity itself, it would have to have different daily storage medium used. University of Twente from the Netherlands Institute for Nanotechnology researchers Yeluo En De Fries (Jeroen de Vries) pointed out that in extremely long period of time for data storage is possible.

The widely used hard drives can store large amounts of data, but only used at room temperature for about 10 years time. This is because the hard magnetic barrier is low, so the period of time, the above stored information will be lost gradually. CD and DVD discs, paper, tape, ceramic, clay and stone and other media life is limited. If you want the information is retained longer, we need to find a new medium.

More than one billion years of archival storage

About why you want to store the information for so long, we can assume that many of the scenes. Yeluo En De Fries said: “A scenario is: a disaster destroyed the planet, human society needs to be rebuilt; another scenario is that we want for the future of intelligent life – whether on Earth or human offspring from another planet – leaving a legacy in this case, you will consider the information file store hundreds of years, or even billions of years. ”

Optical information carrier

Yeluo En De Floris developed an optical information carrier, each byte is written using an etching technique, the information carrier can be stored very long time. This is a wafer made of tungsten, silicon nitride package together. Chose tungsten, because the elements can withstand extreme temperatures.Etching the surface of tungsten (shown) forms of information are called QR code, with its upper nitride protected. In a large QR code, each pixel contains a much smaller QR code, the wafer precisely in order to store different information. De Fries said: “In principle, we can store any on the disc worth preserving things, such as the Mona Lisa digital images, etc. In this study, we tested is my digital copy of a paper – Introduction chapter of this medium. ”

High temperature aging test

To ensure the stability of the data, it is necessary to set an information with outside energy barrier between; but in order to prove that the data is still able to read the millions of years, the researchers conducted a aging test, to find the energy barrier enough to ensure data is not lost. De Fries said: “According to the Arrhenius model, the storage medium if in 473 Kelvin (200 degrees C) oven for 1 hour, then it will be able to at least one hundred years later can continue Work. ”

After the test is completed, the researchers found no significant tungsten wafer and aging, but also easy to read the information. When the temperature continues to rise, things become complicated. At 713 Kelvin (440 degrees Celsius), the crack QR code becomes very difficult, even for tungsten was not affected. De Fries said: “The next study will understand this data carrier can withstand the higher temperatures of the test, such as a family fire, but if we can find a very stable place, such as nuclear storage facilities that this chip and the data above may be able to save millions of years. ”

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