Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed an electron beam technique to allow for the complete destruction of electronic data. The electron-beam writing technique that induces the deposition of carbon on a graphene surface, referred to as "focused electron beam induced deposition", is a type of direct-write additive lithographic technique. With the method, by altering the energy levels, exposure time, and location of the e-beam the rate of carbon deposition changes, leading to the re-write and direct-write events occurring.
This method allows for nanoscale engineering of future graphene-based devices for information. This means that not only can data be re-written, the original functionality of the device can be changed and energy storage devices, sensors and nanoelectronics could be re-configured.
The subject of data security and data theft remains one of concern (and trends high on social media); the new technology could help to address such concerns for companies that wish to dispose of computerized equipment.