Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Carbon-Based Transistors Ramp Up Speed and Memory for Mobile Devices

17.07.2012
Award-winning TAU research attracts electronics industry giants
Though smartphones and tablets are hailed as the hardware of the future, their present-day incarnations have some flaws. Most notoriously, low RAM memory limits the number of applications that can be run at one time and quickly consumes battery power. Now, a Tel Aviv University researcher has found a creative solution to these well-known problems.

As silicon technology gets smaller, creating a large and powerful memory grows harder, say PhD candidate Elad Mentovich and his supervisor Dr. Shachar Richter of TAU's Department of Chemistry and Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Working with carbon molecules called C60, Mentovich has successfully built a sophisticated memory transistor that can both transfer and store energy, eliminating the need for a capacitor.

This molecular memory transistor, which can be as small as one nanometer, stores and disseminates information at high speed — and it's ready to be produced at existing high-tech fabrication facilities. Major companies in the memory industry have already expressed interest in the technology, says Mentovich, who was awarded first prize for his work at May's European conference in the session on Novel Materials Approaches for Microelectronics of the Materials Research Society. The basis of the technology has been published in the journal Advanced Materials and Applied Physics Letters.

Closing the technology gap

Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are the computing devices of the post-personal-computer (PC) era, says Mentovich. These devices, which are small and battery operated, are quickly closing the gap with their laptop or desktop ancestors in terms of computing power and storage capacity — but they are lacking in RAM, the run-time memory reserves that computers need to operate various programs. Because current RAM technology is power-hungry and physically large, it doesn't function well in mobile devices. That's where laptops and PC's retain the edge.

As many as 15 years ago, technology experts realized that the problem with shrinking electronics would be the physical size of the hardware needed to make them run. The idea of a sophisticated transistor, which could do the job of both the transistor and the capacitor, was a technological dream — until now.

In order to tackle this technology gap, Mentovich was inspired by the work of Israel Prize winner Prof. Avraham Nitzan of TAU's Department of Chemistry, who proved that, due to its special structure, a molecule can store both an electric charge and information at the same time. To apply this finding to transistors, Mentovich used C60 molecules, made up of 60 carbon atoms, and put them in the channels of a transistor, creating a smaller-than-silicone, high-speed transistor that could also do the job of a capacitor.

Going mobile

Mentovich believes that this technology is sorely needed in today's mobile world. 2012 was the first year in which big technology companies sold more tablets and smartphones than laptops and notebooks combined, he notes. "When this new technology is integrated into future devices, you will have much more memory on your smartphones and tablets, approaching the level of a laptop. With that kind of memory, you'll be able to run applications simultaneously, and because it is low voltage, power consumption will fall and battery life will be longer."

The next step is to find a fabrication facility with the necessary materials to manufacture the transistors. According to Mentovich, the benefit of this product is that with the right equipment, which is standard in high-tech facilities, and his breakthroughs on how to put the transistors together, these molecular memories could be manufactured anywhere. "The distance to implementation is not far," he says.

George Hunka | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aftau.org

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires
07.12.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>