Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > NIST 'Nanowire' Measurements Could Improve Computer Memory

In this schematic image (top) and transmission electron micrograph, a silicon nanowire is shown surrounded by a stack of thin layers of material called dielectrics, which store electrical charge. NIST scientists determined the best arrangement for this dielectric stack for the optimal construction of silicon nanowire-based memory devices.
Credit: Schematic Zhu, GMU. TEM Bonevich, NIST.
In this schematic image (top) and transmission electron micrograph, a silicon nanowire is shown surrounded by a stack of thin layers of material called dielectrics, which store electrical charge. NIST scientists determined the best arrangement for this dielectric stack for the optimal construction of silicon nanowire-based memory devices.

Credit: Schematic Zhu, GMU. TEM Bonevich, NIST.

Abstract:
A recent study* at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) may have revealed the optimal characteristics for a new type of computer memory now under development. The work, performed in collaboration with researchers from George Mason University (GMU), aims to optimize nanowire-based charge-trapping memory devices, potentially illuminating the path to creating portable computers and cell phones that can operate for days between charging sessions.

NIST 'Nanowire' Measurements Could Improve Computer Memory

Gaithersburg, MD | Posted on May 20th, 2011

The nascent technology is based on silicon formed into tiny wires, approximately 20 nanometers in diameter. These "nanowires" form the basis of memory that is non-volatile, holding its contents even while the power is offójust like the flash memory in USB thumb drives and many mp3 players. Such nanowire devices are being studied extensively as the possible basis for next-generation computer memory because they hold the promise to store information faster and at lower voltage.

Nanowire memory devices also hold an additional advantage over flash memory, which despite its uses is unsuitable for one of the most crucial memory banks in a computer: the local cache memory in the central processor.

"Cache memory stores the information a microprocessor is using for the task immediately at hand," says NIST physicist Curt Richter. "It has to operate very quickly, and flash memory just isn't fast enough. If we can find a fast, non-volatile form of memory to replace what chips currently use as cache memory, computing devices could gain even more freedom from power outletsóand we think we've found the best way to help silicon nanowires do the job."

While the research team is by no means the only lab group in the world working on nanowires, they took advantage of NIST's talents at measurement to determine the best way to design charge-trapping memory devices based on nanowires, which must be surrounded by thin layers of material called dielectrics that store electrical charge. By using a combination of software modeling and electrical device characterization, the NIST and GMU team explored a wide range of structures for the dielectrics. Based on the understanding they gained, Richter says, an optimal device can be designed.

"These findings create a platform for experimenters around the world to further investigate the nanowire-based approach to high-performance non-volatile memory," says Qiliang Li, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at GMU. "We are optimistic that nanowire-based memory is now closer to real application."
* X. Zhu, Q. Li, D. Ioannou, D. Gu, J.E. Bonevich, H. Baumgart, J. Suehle and C.A. Richter. Fabrication, characterization and simulation of high performance Si nanowire-based non-volatile memory cells. Nanotechnology, May 16, 2011, 22 254020 doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/22/25/254020.

####

About NIST
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Chad Boutin
301-975-4261

Copyright © NIST

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer October 20th, 2017

Leti Coordinating Project to Develop Innovative Drivetrains for 3rd-generation Electric Vehicles: CEA Techís Contribution Includes Litenís Knowhow in Magnetic Materials and Simulation And Letiís Expertise in Wide-bandgap Semiconductors October 20th, 2017

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

Laboratories

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

Rice U. lab surprised by ultraflat magnets: Researchers create atom-thick alloys with unanticipated magnetic properties October 13th, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Leti Coordinating Project to Develop Innovative Drivetrains for 3rd-generation Electric Vehicles: CEA Techís Contribution Includes Litenís Knowhow in Magnetic Materials and Simulation And Letiís Expertise in Wide-bandgap Semiconductors October 20th, 2017

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Chip Technology

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Memory Technology

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

First on-chip nanoscale optical quantum memory developed: Smallest-yet optical quantum memory device is a storage medium for optical quantum networks with the potential to be scaled up for commercial use September 11th, 2017

High-speed quantum memory for photons September 9th, 2017

Fast magnetic writing of data September 7th, 2017

Discoveries

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer October 20th, 2017

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

Announcements

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer October 20th, 2017

Leti Coordinating Project to Develop Innovative Drivetrains for 3rd-generation Electric Vehicles: CEA Techís Contribution Includes Litenís Knowhow in Magnetic Materials and Simulation And Letiís Expertise in Wide-bandgap Semiconductors October 20th, 2017

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer October 20th, 2017

On the road to fire-free, lithium-ion batteries made with asphalt October 12th, 2017

Organic/inorganic sulfur may be key for safe rechargeable lithium batteries October 12th, 2017

How to draw electricity from the bloodstream: A one-dimensional fluidic nanogenerator with a high power-conversion efficiency September 11th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project