A nano piano with informational pro­cessing and archival storage abilities

A nano piano with informational pro­cessing and archival storage abilities

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Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign have demonstrated the first-ever recording of optically encoded audio onto a non-magnetic plasmonic nanostructure, opening the door to multiple uses in informational processing and archival storage.

Specifically, the photographic film property exhibited by an array of novel gold, pillar-supported bowtie nanoantennas (pBNAs) previously discovered by Toussaint’s group was exploited to store sound and audio files. Compared with the conventional magnetic film for analog data storage, the storage capacity of pBNAs is around 5,600 times larger, indicating a vast array of poten-tial storage uses. To demonstrate its abilities to store sound and audio files, the researchers created a musical keyboard or “nano piano”, using the available notes to play the short song, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”