Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved functionality in a material called molybdenum ditelluride.


Researchers have discovered a new functionality in a two-dimensional material that allows data to be stored and retrieved much faster on a computer chip, saving battery life.

Credit: Purdue University illustration

The two-dimensional material stacks into multiple layers to build a memory cell. Researchers at Purdue University engineered this device in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Theiss Research Inc. Their work appears in an advance online issue of Nature Materials.

Chip-maker companies have long called for better memory technologies to enable a growing network of smart devices. One of these next-generation possibilities is resistive random access memory, or RRAM for short.

In RRAM, an electrical current is typically driven through a memory cell made up of stacked materials, creating a change in resistance that records data as 0s and 1s in memory. The sequence of 0s and 1s among memory cells identifies pieces of information that a computer reads to perform a function and then store into memory again.

A material would need to be robust enough for storing and retrieving data at least trillions of times, but materials currently used have been too unreliable. So RRAM hasn't been available yet for widescale use on computer chips.

Molybdenum ditelluride could potentially last through all those cycles.

"We haven't yet explored system fatigue using this new material, but our hope is that it is both faster and more reliable than other approaches due to the unique switching mechanism we've observed," Joerg Appenzeller, Purdue University's Barry M. and Patricia L. Epstein Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the scientific director of nanoelectronics at the Birck Nanotechnology Center.

Molybdenum ditelluride allows a system to switch more quickly between 0 and 1, potentially increasing the rate of storing and retrieving information. This is because when an electric field is applied to the cell, atoms are displaced by a tiny distance, resulting in a state of high resistance, noted as 0, or a state of low resistance, noted as 1, which can occur much faster than switching in conventional RRAM devices.

"Because less power is needed for these resistive states to change, a battery could last longer," Appenzeller said.

In a computer chip, each memory cell would be located at the intersection of wires, forming a memory array called cross-point RRAM.

Appenzeller's lab wants to explore building a stacked memory cell that also incorporates the other main components of a computer chip: "logic," which processes data, and "interconnects," wires that transfer electrical signals, by utilizing a library of novel electronic materials fabricated at NIST.

"Logic and interconnects drain battery too, so the advantage of an entirely two-dimensional architecture is more functionality within a small space and better communication between memory and logic," Appenzeller said.

Two U.S. patent applications have been filed for this technology through the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization.

###

The work received financial support from the Semiconductor Research Corporation through the NEW LIMITS Center (led by Purdue University), NIST, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Material Genome Initiative.

ABSTRACT

Electric field induced structural transition in vertical MoTe2 and Mo1-xWxTe2 based resistive memories

Feng Zhang1, Huairuo Zhang2,3, Sergiy Krylyuk2,3, Cory A. Milligan1, Yuqi Zhu1, Dmitry Y. Zemlyanov1, Leonid A. Bendersky3, Benjamin P. Burton3, Albert V. Davydov2 and Joerg Appenzeller1

1Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA

2Theiss Research Inc., La Jolla, CA, USA

3National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, USA

doi: 10.1038/s41563-018-0234-y

Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have attracted attention as potential building blocks for various electronic applications due to their atomically thin nature and polymorphism. Here, we report an electric field induced structural transition from a 2H semiconducting to a distorted transient structure (2Hd) and orthorhombic Td conducting phase in vertical 2H-MoTe2 and Mo1-xWxTe2 based resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices. RRAM programming voltages are tunable by the TMD thickness and show a distinctive trend of requiring lower electric fields for Mo1-xWxTe2 alloys vs. MoTe2 compounds. Devices showed reproducible resistive switching within 10 ns between a high-resistant state (HRS) and low-resistant state (LRS). Moreover, using an Al2O3/MoTe2 stack, On/Off-current ratios of 106 with programming currents lower than 1 mA were achieved in a selectorless RRAM architecture. The sum of these findings demonstrates that controlled electrical state switching in two-dimensional materials is achievable and highlights the potential of TMDs for memory applications.

Media Contact

Kayla Wiles
wiles5@purdue.edu
765-494-2432

 @PurdueUnivNews

http://www.purdue.edu/ 

Kayla Wiles | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2018/Q4/data-use-draining-your-battery-tiny-device-to-speed-up-memory-while-also-saving-power.html
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41563-018-0234-y

Further reports about: RRAM battery computer chip electric field memory cell

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Researchers measure near-perfect performance in low-cost semiconductors
18.03.2019 | Stanford University

nachricht Robot arms with the flexibility of an elephant’s trunk
18.03.2019 | Universität des Saarlandes

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

Im Focus: Revealing the secret of the vacuum for the first time

New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum

For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...

Im Focus: Sussex scientists one step closer to a clock that could replace GPS and Galileo

Physicists in the EPic Lab at University of Sussex make crucial development in global race to develop a portable atomic clock

Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock - devices...

Im Focus: Sensing shakes

A new way to sense earthquakes could help improve early warning systems

Every year earthquakes worldwide claim hundreds or even thousands of lives. Forewarning allows people to head for safety and a matter of seconds could spell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Levitating objects with light

19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New technique for in-cell distance determination

19.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Stellar cartography

19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>