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Home > News > Rice team works on next generation of memory devices

August 31st, 2010

Rice team works on next generation of memory devices

Abstract:
Chemist Jim Tour and his colleagues at Rice University believe they have found a possible solution with plain old silicon dioxide, the most common mineral in the Earth's crust.

It turns out that, under certain conditions, an electric charge applied to tiny bits of silicon dioxide will repeatedly break and reconnect its crystals.

The breaks in the crystal can be used to store information.

This kind of phenomenon was noticed in the 1960s, but because it occurs on such a small scale — the nanocrystal wires are about 5 billionths of a meter wide - those researchers couldn't effectively manipulate it, Tour said.

Now, as the science of nanotechnology matures, scientists are beginning to control the interactions of handfuls of electrons, and they're making striking finds as they do so.

"We rediscovered something that people had seen 40 years ago," Tour said.

Source:
chron.com

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