Navigation Links
Miniaturizing memory: Taking data storage to the molecular level
Date:11/11/2008

Computers are getting smaller and smaller. And as hand-held devices from mobile phones and cameras to music players and laptops get more powerful, the race is on to develop memory formats that can satisfy the ever-growing demand for information storage on tiny formats.

Researchers at The University of Nottingham are now exploring ways of exploiting the unique properties of carbon nanotubes to create a cheap and compact memory cell that uses little power and writes information at high speeds.

Miniaturisation of computer devices involves continual improvement and shrinking of their basic element, the transistor. This process could soon reach its fundamental limit. As transistors approach nanoscales their operation is disrupted by quantum phenomena, such as electrons tunnelling through the barriers between wires.

Current memory technologies fall into three separate groups: dynamic random access memory (DRAM), which is the cheapest method; static random access memory (SRAM), which is the fastest memory but both DRAM and SRAM require an external power supply to retain data; and flash memory, which is non-volatile it does not need a power supply to retain data, but has slower read-write cycles than DRAM.

Carbon nanotubes tubes made from rolled graphite sheets just one carbon atom thick could provide the answer. If one nanotube sits inside another slightly larger one, the inner tube will 'float' within the outer, responding to electrostatic, van der Waals and capillary forces. Passing power through the nanotubes allows the inner tube to be pushed in and out of the outer tube. This telescoping action can either connect or disconnect the inner tube to an electrode, creating the 'zero' or 'one' states required to store information using binary code. When the power source is switched off, van der Waals force which governs attraction between molecules keeps the Inner tube in contact with the electrode. This makes the memory storage non-volatile, like Flash memory.

Researchers from across the scientific disciplines will be working on the 'nanodevices for data storage' project, which is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Colleagues from the Schools of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Pharmacy and the Nottingham Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre will examine the methods and materials required to develop this new technology, as well as exploring other potential applications for the telescoping properties of carbon nanotubes. These include drug delivery to individual cells and nanothermometers which could differentiate between healthy and cancerous cells.

Dr Elena Bichoutskaia in the School of Chemistry at the University is leading the study. "The electronics industry is searching for a replacement of silicon-based technologies for data storage and computer memory," she said. "Existing technologies, such as magnetic hard discs, cannot be used reliably at the sub-micrometre scale and will soon reach their fundamental physical limitations.

"In this project a new device for storing information will be developed, made entirely of carbon nanotubes and combining the speed and price of dynamic memory with the non-volatility of flash memory."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tara de Cozar
tara.decozar@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-584-68545
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Actress Aida Turturro Tells Americans to Start Now to Talk With Their Healthcare Provider About Taking Control of Their Diabetes
2. CaviWipes(R): Taking Surface Disinfection to a New Level
3. Kiwa Bio-Tech Passes Test & Taking Orders From Beijing Lv Fu Long Vegetable Company
4. Tiny refrigerator taking shape to cool future computers
5. SAFC Expands European Commercial Manufacturing and Storage Capacities With $10 Million Investment
6. BioStorage Technologies Becomes Green Powered through the Use of 100% Certified Renewable Energy
7. BioStorage Technologies Appoints Lori Ball as Vice President
8. GenVault and the National Center for Forensic Science to Present Novel Technology for Room Temperature Storage of RNA
9. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Signs Vaccine Storage and Distribution Contract with Sentry Logistic Solutions
10. BioStorage Technologies Appoints Dr. Wolfgang Hoffer as Managing Director of European Operations
11. Hydrogen storage in nanoparticles works
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a range ... place between the two entities said Poloz. Speaking ... Ottawa , he pointed to the country,s inflation ... federal government. "In ... "Both institutions have common economic goals, why not sit down ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at ... most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the ... read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...   Boston Biomedical , an industry leader ... target cancer stemness pathways, announced that its lead ... Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is an orally ... stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and is currently ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed a ... serve as their official health care provider. As ... provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and most ... athletes and families. "We are excited ... to bring Houston Methodist quality services and programs ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/20/2016)... June 20, 2016 Securus Technologies, a ... solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring ... involved, it has secured the final acceptance by ... for Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus ... to be installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... 2016  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit ... includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution ... will result in greater convenience for SACU members ... maintaining existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... NEW YORK , June 1, 2016 ... Biometric Technology in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to ... According to a recently released TechSci Research report, " ... Sector, By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - ... $ 24.8 billion by 2021, on account of growing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):