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IBM grant to extend research on thin-film information storage

STANFORD -- IBM Corp. has granted $100,000 to the Stanford University Center for Research on Information Storage Materials to support teaching and research of magnetism in thin-metal films.

Magnetic thin films - typically 1 to 500 atoms thick, or less than one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair - have permitted substantial increases in the density with which data can be stored on computer hard disks. Thin films also are part of key components within most advanced disk drive heads that write and read data on the disk. Research at Stanford is directed at understanding the materials involved and extending their capabilities to permit still higher information storage densities, said Robert L. White, director of the center and professor emeritus of electrical engineering and materials science.

The grant, the second from IBM, supports students, expands the teaching curriculum, provides on-campus research facilities and assists technological exchange between the campus researchers and people in the information storage industry, he said.

IBM's Almaden Research Center initiated the grant, which was supported by ADSTAR, the San Jose-based unit of IBM responsible for data storage systems.



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