Nanoionic device

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Nanoionic hard drives use nanoionic technology allowing for smaller devices while doing away with moving parts and the mechanical failures which are associated with previous HDD drives. Nanoionic hard drives are currently the most state of the art drives on the market and nanoionics was not utilized in hard drives until February 2014.[1] Nanoionic devices were first proposed in 1992: "The results obtained show that it is possible to form arrays of electrochemical devices with single elements ~10 nm in size in the films".[2] The basis of design of nanoionic devices is the creation of nanostructures with nanoionic parameter λ / L ~ 1, where L is the size of device structure, and λ is the characteristic size of specific region where the property of fast ionic transport is realized. “Possibilities to influence on these specific regions < λ > in a controllable manner may appear in short sized devices”. Ion - electronic hybrid devices should be considered as a step on a way to the future nanoelectronics-nanoionics (nanoelionics) that was first proposed in 1996.[3]


The First HDD Hard Drive was made in 1956 by IBM. It weighed nearly 2000 pounds and only could hold 5 MB. The first HDD Drive was 60" long, 68" tall, and 29" wide. It was used in IBM's RAMAC 305,the first computer to use HDD drives.[4]

Since 1956 the principle of storing information via magnetic domains has not changed much. As time progressed HDD drives were able to store more information than the original and the parts became much smaller, but the moving parts that are used in HDD drives were here to stay until nanoionic technologies began to be utilized in hard drives.[4]

In 1976 the first Solid State Device or SSD was made by Dataram and could store up to 2 MB. The SSD did not become popular until 2001 when SSD the SSD industry its revenues reached $25 million a year and was listed on INC 500 fastest growing private companies. The reason for this slow growth was that SSD were expensive. In 1978 1 GB would have cost $1 million. Even in 2001, Adtron’s S35PC 3.5” SSD drive which had 14 GB storage cost $42,000.[5]

The idea to utilized this technology began at Arizona State University in 1992 and in 1996 the nanoionic supercapacitor was the first device to use nanoionics. The first drive to have this technology was invented by Dr. Michael Kozicki at Arizona State University 1996.This technology was then used in multiple universities around the globe, but did npt become available to the public until February 2014.[6]


Traditional hard drives run on mechanical parts, which uses the permanent disk to store your personal data. The hard disk drives usually have a 10 centimeter diameter and are a centimeter thick. These drives use a magnetic recording technique. We, as users, can easily manipulate our data on this medium i.e. add, copy, cut or paste data on it though this technique. The principle of magnetic flux is used for such processes. Basically the hard drive remembers which data is where and how to manipulate the data according to the user’s preference by remembering the flux patterns. The average hard drives contain the specific parts:

  • Disk case - This is a rectangular shaped disk case (the main part of the drive) which contains all the components screwed together.
  • Disk platter – This is the actual disk where the user’s data is recorded on. Consists of patterns on which the computer navigates through the data using the principle of magnetic flux.
  • Spindle – This component holds the magnetic platters together and is responsible for spinning the disk platter when required.
  • Read/Write Arm – This component acts as the navigator. It navigates through the magnetic patterns looking for the particular data.[7]

SSD, regarded as the future of data storage, is a technology recently available to the consumers. However expensive, these state of the art drives are considerably smaller. Data on such drives is statically twice as safer i.e. such drives crash less. First of all, these drives do not involve magnetic principles. These drives use semiconductors to store data unlike the disk platter used in the Hard Disk Drives. SSDs use the principle of flash drive. It consists of no actual mechanical parts i.e. no movements of parts is involved. Usually the HDD data is referred to as volatile memory, this really means that when the computer loses power, all the memory is lost. However, in the case of Solid State Drives, there are chips which deliver non-volatile memory meaning the data is stored even when there is a loss of power with the machine.[8]

Mode of operation[edit]

Nanoionics devices rely on the fundamentals of electrochemistry. Currently the hard drives are made up of solid materials which weigh less and generate more power; solids have one polarity for ions that are moving. The ions are what the electrodes are made of. Electrodes are key components in nanoionic devices. Those electrodes can be made out of ZrO2, a metal which is coated in La2NiO4/La2CuO4, or Bi10V4(metal)O26. Where “metal” is any metal found in the transition metal group like copper. These nanoionic devices are made up of smaller devices that are that are spaced less than a tenth nanometer away. Due to the small spaced distance between the materials in the nanoionic device smaller ions are necessary for the pathway.Metals in the first group of the periodic table are small, but they are too reactive. So there needs to be a compromise between the reactivity of chemicals and size. That is why materials like Cu or Ag fulfill the needs of the nanoionic drives.

In the nanoionic device there would be chalcogenide glass with has the metal like gold and an element for group six infused in the glass. This glass is the electrode for the nanoionic. In the oxidation reaction the Ag+ then loses the electron and turns into Ag. This reaction only happens when a switch confirms the reaction to happen and these switches are used for the binary information storage. That binary information storage is where all the data is saved on the hard drive. All this is dependent on the small current of ions, hence the name nanoionic, to allow the reaction to happen. All the components of the switch, right metals, and solid have to come together to make the nanoionic happen correctly.[9]


Due to nanoionic devices being new technology, they lack memory capacity. Smaller drives take up less charge to change the electrolytes in their nonvolatile state. The smaller size is the only way the nanoionic devices are feasible with today’s technology because it needs the reduction in resistance. These smaller sizes can hold a lot of memory and can still work in a computer.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bullis, Kevin. "Terabyte Storage for Cell Phones". Technology Review. 
  2. ^ Despotuli A.L., Nikolaichik V.I. A step towards nanoionics // Solid State Ionics 1993 V.60. P. 275–278.
  3. ^ Despotuli A.L., Andreeva A.V. Nanoionics: New materials and supercapacitors // Nanotechnologies in Russia 2010, V. 5. # 7-8. P. 506-520.
  4. ^ a b Hernandez, Daniela (January 3, 2014). "Tech Time Warp of the Week: The World's First Hard Drive, 1956". WIRED. 
  5. ^ Kerekes, Zsolt. "Charting the Rise of the Solid State Disk Market". storagesearch. 
  6. ^ "programmable metallization cell". Farlex. 
  7. ^ Santo Domingo, Joel. "What's the Difference?". PCMAG. 
  8. ^ "NANOIONIC MATERIALS AND DEVICES LAB". Boise State University. 
  9. ^ Kozicki, Michael; Maria Mitkova (March 2011). "Memory devices based on mass transport in solid electrolytes" (PDF). 
  10. ^ Kozicki, Michael; Maria Mitkova (March 2011). "Memory devices based on mass transport in solid electrolytes" (PDF).