Essentially, when you are recording on a magnetic material, bits (a collection of magnetized particles) are laid out end-to-end on disk platters. Storage capacity is generally increased by decreasing the size of the magnetic grains that make-up data bits. As the magnetic grains became smaller or arranged more efficiently, more data could then be stored on the disk. The Japanese researchers have developed an ultra-high density paterning technology based on a self-arranged phenomenon of polymer materials. The materials allowed for the formation of accurate magnetic strustures sized just 10nm.
The technology, when applied to current density HDD (with areal density of about 500Gbits / square inch), will result to an 8-fold increase in the recording density. This means that we could see HDD with capacities of 24TB in the future.
The new technology will be presented at the 2010 Material Research Society Fall meeting, held November 29-December 3 in Boston, Massachusetts.