City University of New York Professor Carlos Meriles and his colleagues took advance of a defect in diamond which occurs when a carbon atom is replaced by a nitrogen atom in the diamond's lattice structure. Nitrogen vacancy centres trap electrons, but the electron can also be forced out of the defect by a laser pulse.
So, the team used optical microscopy to read, write and reset information in a diamond crystal.
The work shows a method of using atomic sized defects for high density data storage, transforming the beauty of physics into a vastly useful technology. Diamond-based storage could hold 100 times more information than a DVD.
Another member of the team, Dr Siddharth Dhomkar, wrote in an article for The Conversation that on an atomic level, these crystals are extremely orderly – but sometimes defects arise which allow information to be stored in three dimensions.
There is no indication if this tech will ever turn into product and we have heard countless of promising storage mediums being cited before which have never turned up.