A new perovskite material may open the door to next-gen data storage

EPFL scientists have developed a new perovskite material whose magnetic order can be rapidly changed without disrupting it due to heating. This novel material may potentially be used to build next-generation hard drives.

The EPFL team synthesized a ferromagnetic photovoltaic material. This material is a modified version of perovskite, that exhibits unique properties that make it particularly interesting as a material to build next-generation digital storage systems. The researchers explain that they have basically created the first magnetic photoconductor; This new crystal structure combines the advantages of both ferromagnets, whose magnetic moments are aligned in a well-defined order, and photoconductors, where light illumination generates high density free conduction electrons.

4DS Memory developed a 40nm RRAM memory cell based on perovskite materials

4DS Memory logoUS-based RRAM developer 4DS Memory announced that it developed a working 40nm RRAM memory cells. The 4DS memory cell is constructed using an advanced perovskite material, which has the same crystal structure as the inorganic compound calcium titanium oxide.

4DS Memory's development was achieved in collaboration with HGST, a subsidiary of Western Digital. 4DS has been collaboration with HGST for the past two years under a joint development agreement (JDA). When the JDA commenced, 4DS memory cells were at 800 nm. The JDA was renewed in July 2016 for a further 12 months and is focused on optimizing scalability and cycling endurance or RRAM cells for the mobile and cloud gigabyte silicon storage market.

Switchable material could enable new memory chips

Researchers at MIT developed a thin-film material whose phase and electrical properties can be switched between metallic and semiconducting, simply by applying a small voltage. The material then stays in its new configuration until switched back by another voltage. The discovery could pave the way for a new kind of nonvolatile computer memory chips that retain information when the power is switched off, and for energy conversion and catalytic applications.

The researchers demonstrated that electrical bias can induce a phase transition in the material, which was achieved by changing the oxygen content in material. This work involves the thin-film material strontium cobaltite (SrCoOx), which has two different structures depending on how many oxygen atoms per unit cell it contains. When more oxygen is present, SrCoOx forms the tightly-enclosed, cage-like crystal structure of perovskite, whereas a lower concentration of oxygen produces the more open structure of brownmillerite.

Will perovskite-based memristors someday replace Flash storage?

Researchers at ETH Zurich have built a perovskite-based memristor just 5 nanometres thick. The component has three stable resistive states, and as a result, it can not only store the 0 or 1 of a standard bit, but can also be used for information encoded by three states – the 0, 1 and 2 of a “trit”. This component could, therefore, be useful for a new type of IT that is not based on binary logic, but on a logic that provides for information located ‘between’ the 0 and 1, with interesting implications for what is referred to as fuzzy logic, which seeks to incorporate a form of uncertainty into the processing of digital information.

Another potential application is neuromorphic computing, which aims to use electronic components to reproduce the way in which neurons in the brain process information. The scientists explain that the properties of a memristor at a given point in time depend on what has happened before, and this mimics the behavior of neurons, which only transmit information once a specific activation threshold has been reached.