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New material interface improves functioning of non-silicon-based electronic devices
Date:2/19/2013

ctions. With future modifications, faster switching and storage, or toggling, between 1 and 0 with the information also stored in the same device (or between the states of 1, 2, 3, and 4) may be possible," Li said. "With a 10,000-percent enhancement, the 1 is a stronger 1 and the 0 is a stronger 0, thanks to the physical properties of the materials used to build the interface structures. Stronger 1s and 0s mean sharper switching or fewer memory errors and better and faster information processing and storage power."

Li said that non-silicon materials that use enhanced tunneling-electroresistance-effect technology may be many years away from being available in personal computers and cell phones. However, her research is a next step toward demonstrating the feasibility of this technology. "A few of the exciting outcomes of a multiferroic interface built into tunnel junctions would be doubling the memory states from two to four, a switch and a memory in one chip, and electrical control of the magnetic devices. For example, a new generation of non-volatile multilevel data processing and storage would be possible with the combined memory of MRAM and ferroelectric RAM (fRAM) or logic operation." Li said.

Li explained that memory is considered non-volatile if it is stored even when it is not powered. "Most computers use dynamic random-access memory (dRAM) -- a form of computer data storage in which stored information fades from the capacitor unless it is refreshed periodically," Li said. "But with both MRAM and fRAM, if you shut down your computer while you are watching a video, then the video would pop back up on the screen immediately as soon as you powered the computer back on again. No restart of the window in your personal computer would be necessary."


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Contact: Barbara Kennedy
814-863-4682
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert  

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