The magnetic data storage industry has followed a similar density (and data rate) improvement curve as the semiconductor technology (Moore’s Law) for the past decade. However, whether the storage densities will continue to increase at this rate and be able to keep up with the improvements in processor technology is under a near term threat resulting from the fundamental physics up on which the hard disk drives are based. It is expected that novel, more unconventional technological solutions become necessary to overcome limitations, however, many of these technologies rely heavily on heating and energy transport at extremely short time and length scales. It is widely believed that further advances in high-technology data storage systems will be difficult, if not impossible, without rigorous treatment of the nano-scale energy transport. The nano-scale heat transfer research effort at Data Storage System Center (DSSC) has been focused on three interwoven areas of thermal design, failure analysis, and metrology of micro/nano-devices and structures relevant to data storage technologies. In this presentation, underlying physics and fundamentals of heat transport at nanoscale will be discussed. In addition, applications of the nanoscale heat transfer to the thermal analyses of the magnetic and phase change optical data storage technologies will be presented.

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