An organic donor–acceptor molecule, 4′-cyano-2,6-dimethyl-4-hydroxy azobenzene (CDHAB), has been designed and synthesized for data storage. Reversible nanometer-scale data storage is realized on its highly ordered self-assembled thin film by applying voltage pulses between a scanning tunneling microscope tip and the substrate. The changes in the conductance of the CDHAB film result in the formation of the information dots (see figure).
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