Graphene Shows Potential for Energy-Efficient Data Storage Technologies
AZO Nano, October 26, 2015. Image credit: geralt
Engineers are presently trying to develop nanomaterial-based memory chips that perform better than their silicon counterparts to be used in low-energy data centers and gadgets with a longer battery life.
The researchers used graphene to carrying the small jolts of electricity. Graphene is conductive even at very thin dimensions which differentiates it from conventional metals. This enables fabrication of smaller RRAM cells that have the capacity to store more data than conventional metal-based conductors.
Phase-change memory involves an alloy of germanium, antimony and tellurium. Applying a small jolt of electricity to the alloy results in a change in its structure. The first jolt induces the atoms to form a normal, crystalline structure that facilitates a flow of electrons. This is considered as equivalent to a digital one. The second jolt induces the structure to become amorphous with an irregular structure. This is equivalent to a zero.
The phase-change material toggles from one to zero with each jolt. This material has the ability to store data even when power is not available.