Chips based on Seignette-electrics (ferroelectrics) will retain recorded information for centuries, this being done without any power replenishment. Devices based on these wonderful materials’ thin films will help to track the route of an animal or a bird during its overall life span, to control the valuable freight travel and to find the lost or stolen stuff, even if more than a year elapsed since the time of a loss. The information on the St. Petersburg researchers’ development is available in the Internet – in the section of advanced research of the International Science and Technology Center database.
Neither paper nor leather but clay tablets with stroke symbols and pictures drawn on them have preserved for descendants biographies of tzars of the past and lovers’ notes of the same period. Probably in the future, the long-term repositories will be also based on ceramics layers. Certainly, these will be very thin layers and very special ceramics. The materials are called Seignette-electrics (ferroelectrics) following I.V. Kurchatov’s example – it is him who invented this name in honour of a French pharmaceutical chemist E.Seignette, who was the first to pay attention to unusual properties of one of the tartaric acid salts.
The point is that Seignette-electrics’ crystals consist of domains with different directions of polarization – as if a multitude of crystalline aciculae in the shape of a figure formed by two pyramids whose foundations are put together. And low-level cells of the crystals, of which the domains consist, are slightly asymmetrical – in some low-level cells their, figuratively speaking, ‘centre of electric gravity’ is shifted towards one side, and in other cells – towards the opposite side.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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