Flash memory is a dominant technology in this field, but its slow writing and erasing speed has led to extensive research into a next-generation nonvolatile memory called Phase-Change Random Access Memory (PRAM), as PRAM's operating speed is 1,000 times faster than that of flash memory.
PRAM uses reversible phase changes between the crystalline (low resistance) and amorphous (high resistance) state of chalcogenide materials, which corresponds to the data "0" and "1," respectively. Although PRAM has been partially commercialized up to 512 Mb by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., its writing current should be decreased by at least one-third of its present level for the mass production of mobile electronics applications.
A team of Professors Keon Jae Lee and Yeon Sik Jung in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at KAIST has developed phase-change memory with low power consumption (below 1/20th of its present level) by employing self-assembled block copolymer (BCP) silica nanostructures. Their work was published under the title "Self-Assembled Incorporation of Modulated Block Copolymer Nanostructures in Phase-Change Memory for Switching Power Reduction" in the March issue of ACS Nano, a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal.
BCP is the mixture of two different polymer materials, which can easily create self-ordered arrays of sub-20 nm features through simple spin-coating and plasma treatments. PRAM can lower switching power consumption by making the contact area smaller between the heating layer and phase change materials. Professor Lee's team successfully decreased the size of the contact area and the level of power consumption by incorporating self-assembled silica nanostructures on top of conventional phase-change materials. Interestingly, these self-assembled nanomaterials are able to reduce power much more than expected with localized nano-switching mechanisms.
Professor Keun-Jae Lee said, "This is a very good example that self-assembled, bottom-up nanotechnology can actually enhance the performance of electronic devices. We also achieved a significant power reduction through a simple process that is compatible with conventional device structures and existing lithography tools."
The research team is currently investigating self-assembled BCP applications for resistive random access memory and flexible electronic devices.
Lan Yoon | EurekAlert!
Breaking bad metals with neutrons
16.01.2018 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional
16.01.2018 | Rice University
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering