Talking Points Memo: A team of researchers from MIT led by Karthik Raman has developed a device that can store digital data at a density of 1000 TB/in2. That’s three orders of magnitude larger than the storage density of the latest magnetic disk drives. The new device’s storage medium consists of molecules, each about 1 nm in diameter, that were made by combining graphene fragments with zinc atoms. By attaching the molecules to an electrode layer, the researchers could switch the molecules’ conductivity between two values, representing the 0 and 1 of binary data storage. However, the development still faces several difficulties before it can be used in commercial applications. Currently the material needs to be cooled to -22 °C, which although comparatively warm, is not convenient for regular use. The material also has a conductivity differential of only about 20%, which is not a large enough difference to be reliably and repeatedly overwritten. And the material creation process would need to be scaled up as well. Raman believes that it will be several years before the technique will be commercialized.