Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Visionary transparent memory a step closer to reality: Rice University making reliable 3-D memories from silicon oxide and graphene

Using graphene as crossbar terminals, Rice University researchers are following through on groundbreaking research that shows silicon oxide, one of the most common materials on Earth, can be used as a reliable computer memory. The memories are flexible, transparent and can be built in 3-D configurations. (Credit: Jun Yao/Rice University)
Using graphene as crossbar terminals, Rice University researchers are following through on groundbreaking research that shows silicon oxide, one of the most common materials on Earth, can be used as a reliable computer memory. The memories are flexible, transparent and can be built in 3-D configurations.

(Credit: Jun Yao/Rice University)

Abstract:
Researchers at Rice University are designing transparent, two-terminal, three-dimensional computer memories on flexible sheets that show promise for electronics and sophisticated heads-up displays.

Visionary transparent memory a step closer to reality: Rice University making reliable 3-D memories from silicon oxide and graphene

Houston, TX | Posted on October 2nd, 2012

The technique based on the switching properties of silicon oxide, a breakthrough discovery by Rice in 2008, was reported today in the online journal Nature Communications.

The Rice team led by chemist James Tour and physicist Douglas Natelson is making highly transparent, nonvolatile resistive memory devices based on the revelation that silicon oxide itself can be a switch. A voltage run across a thin sheet of silicon oxide strips oxygen atoms away from a channel 5 nanometers (billionths of a meter) wide, turning it into conductive metallic silicon. With lower voltages, the channel can then be broken and repaired repeatedly, over thousands of cycles.

That channel can be read as a "1" or a "0," which is a switch, the basic unit of computer memories. At 5 nm, it shows promise to extend Moore's Law, which predicted computer circuitry will double in power every two years. Current state-of-the-art electronics are made with 22 nm circuits.

The research by Tour, Rice's T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science; lead author Jun Yao, a former graduate student at Rice and now a post-doctoral researcher at Harvard; Jian Lin, a Rice postdoctoral researcher, and their colleagues details memories that are 95 percent transparent, made of silicon oxide and crossbar graphene terminals on flexible plastic.

The Rice lab is making its devices with a working yield of about 80 percent, "which is pretty good for a non-industrial lab," Tour said. "When you get these ideas into industries' hands, they really sharpen it up from there."

Manufacturers who have been able to fit millions of bits on small devices like flash memories now find themselves bumping against the physical limits of their current architectures, which require three terminals for each bit.

But the Rice unit, requiring only two terminals, makes it far less complicated. It means arrays of two-terminal memories can be stacked in three-dimensional configurations, vastly increasing the amount of information a memory chip might hold. Tour said his lab has also seen promise for making multi-state memories that would further increase their capacity.

Yao's discovery followed work at Rice on graphitic-based memories in which researchers saw strips of graphite on a silicon oxide substrate break and heal when voltage was applied. Yao suspected the underlying silicon oxide was actually responsible, and he struggled to convince his lab colleagues. "Jun quietly continued his work and stacked up evidence, eventually building a working device with no graphite," Tour said. "And still, others said, 'Oh, it was exogenous carbon in the system that did it!' Then he built it with no exposure to carbon on the chip."

Yao's paper detailing the silicon oxide mechanism appeared in Nature's Scientific Reports in January.

His revelation became the basis for the next-generation memories being designed in Tour's lab, where the team is building memories out of silicon oxides sandwiched between graphene - one-atom-thick ribbons of carbon - and attached to plastic sheets. There's not a speck of metal in the entire unit (with the exception of leads attached to the graphene electrodes).

The marriage of silicon and graphene would extend the long-recognized utility of the first and prove once and for all the value of the second, long touted as a wonder material looking for a reason to be, Tour said. He noted the devices not only show potential for radiation-hardened devices - several built at Rice are now being evaluated at the International Space Station - but also withstand heat up to about 700 degrees Celsius. That means they can be mounted directly atop integrated processors with no ill effects.

The lab is also building crossbar memories with embedded diodes to better manipulate control voltages, Tour said. "We've been developing this slowly to understand the fundamental switching mechanisms," he said. "Industries have flown in and looked at it, but we're doing basic science here; we don't package things nice and pretty, so what they see looks rudimentary.

"But this is now transitioning into an applied system that could well be taken up as a future memory system," he said.

Co-authors are Rice graduate students Yanhua Dai, Gedeng Ruan, Zheng Yan, and Lei Li; and Lin Zhong, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Natelson is a professor of physics and astronomy and of electrical and computer engineering at Rice.

The research was supported by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the Texas Instruments Leadership University Fund, the National Science Foundation and the Army Research Office.

####

About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for "best value" among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to www.rice.edu/nationalmedia/Rice.pdf.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Ruth
713-348-6327


Mike Williams
713-348-6728

Copyright © Rice University

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 Links

Read the abstract at:

Related News Press

Graphene

Haydale and Goodfellow Announce Major Distribution Agreement for Functionalised Graphene Materials July 21st, 2014

CIQUS researchers develop an extremely simple procedure to obtain nanosized graphenes July 15th, 2014

News and information

Haydale and Goodfellow Announce Major Distribution Agreement for Functionalised Graphene Materials July 21st, 2014

Relaunch of the Nanoscribe Website New design, optimized research, and impressive gallery of applications July 21st, 2014

Dongbu HiTek Unveils Low-Voltage BCDMOS Process for Efficient Power Management in Smart Phones and Tablet Computers July 21st, 2014

Iran to Host 1st Asian Congress on Nanostructures on Kish Island July 21st, 2014

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Videos/Movies

More than glitter: Scientists explain how gold nanoparticles easily penetrate cells, making them useful for delivering drugs July 21st, 2014

"Nanocamera" takes pictures at distances smaller than light's own wavelength: How is it possible to record optically encoded information for distances smaller than the wavelength of light? July 17th, 2014

CIQUS researchers develop an extremely simple procedure to obtain nanosized graphenes July 15th, 2014

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

Martini Tech Inc. becomes the exclusive distributor for Yoshioka Seiko Co. porous chucks for Europe and North America July 20th, 2014

Flexible Electronics

Nanoengineers Develop Basis for Electronics That Stretch at the Molecular Level May 8th, 2014

Energy device for flexible electronics packs a lot of power May 7th, 2014

Flexible battery, no lithium required: Rice University lab creates thin-film battery for portable, wearable electronics April 28th, 2014

Transparent Conductive Films and Sensors Are Hot Segments in Printed Electronics: Start-ups in these fields show above-average momentum, while companies working on emissive displays such as OLED are fading, Lux Research says April 17th, 2014

Chip Technology

Dongbu HiTek Unveils Low-Voltage BCDMOS Process for Efficient Power Management in Smart Phones and Tablet Computers July 21st, 2014

Oregon chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution: Solution-based inorganic process could drive more efficient electronics and solar devices July 21st, 2014

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Martini Tech Inc. becomes the exclusive distributor for Yoshioka Seiko Co. porous chucks for Europe and North America July 20th, 2014

Memory Technology

Rice's silicon oxide memories catch manufacturers' eye: Use of porous silicon oxide reduces forming voltage, improves manufacturability July 10th, 2014

University of Illinois study advances limits for ultrafast nano-devices July 10th, 2014

Leti to Present Technological Platforms Targeting Industry’s Needs for the Future at Semicon West Workshop: Presentation at STS Session to Focus on Leti Advanced Lithography Programs for 1x Nodes and on Silicon Photonics at TechXPot June 25th, 2014

6TH CEA-LETI WORKSHOP ON INNOVATIVE MEMORY TECHNOLOGIES includes invited talks by Infineon, IBM, Schlumberger, Thales, Cisco and STMicroelectronics: June 24 Event to Explore NVM Application Horizons from Automotive to Oil & Gas: Responses from Innovative Technologies & Design June 12th, 2014

Discoveries

Oregon chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution: Solution-based inorganic process could drive more efficient electronics and solar devices July 21st, 2014

Steam from the sun: New spongelike structure converts solar energy into steam July 21st, 2014

More than glitter: Scientists explain how gold nanoparticles easily penetrate cells, making them useful for delivering drugs July 21st, 2014

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Announcements

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Opens an Atomic Force Microscopy Demonstration Lab in Mumbai, India July 21st, 2014

Steam from the sun: New spongelike structure converts solar energy into steam July 21st, 2014

More than glitter: Scientists explain how gold nanoparticles easily penetrate cells, making them useful for delivering drugs July 21st, 2014

Iran to Host 1st Asian Congress on Nanostructures on Kish Island July 21st, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE