New invention that could change design of future memory storage devices

October 8, 2008,

A research team at Singapore A*STAR's Data Storage Institute (DSI) has invented a new phase change material that has the potential to change the design of future memory storage devices.

Phase change materials are substances that are capable of changing their structure between amorphous and crystalline at high speed. Currently, these materials are used to make Phase change memory (PCM), the most promising alternative to replace FLASH memory.

This research advance was given special mention in Nature's Asia Materials journal. In the August issue of Nature Photonics journal, another DSI research achievement -- the creation of a needle of longitudinally polarized light in vacuum using binary optics – is featured.

Conventionally, PCM is worked by changing phase change materials' structure through applying an electric current. Now, phase change might be effected by means of switching the new phase change materials by using magnetic fields.

The DSI research team led by Shi Luping, Ph.D., created this first phase change magnetic material by introducing iron atoms into Germanium-Antimony-Tellurium alloys (or GeSbTe) containing non-magnetic elements.

"The addition of magnetic properties to phase change materials opens doors to possible new applications, such as the possibility of integrating phase change memory into spintronic technology [also known as magnetoelectronics], and positions it as the next generation of storage technology to look out for," said Chong Tow Chong, Ph.D., DSI Executive Director.

Research is underway to develop materials that could be switched by application of magnetic fields. Said Dr. Shi, "As a next step, we will explore phase change spintronics and its applications. Because of the new degree of freedom of spin we introduced, the possible applications include novel devices with multiple functions, such as memories, sensors and logic devices."

Source: Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore

Explore further: Scientists test new material for neurocomputers

Related Stories

Scientists test new material for neurocomputers

February 12, 2018

Scientists from the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), working in cooperation with researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences, have proposed new materials in which the ...

System draws power from daily temperature swings

February 15, 2018

Thermoelectric devices, which can generate power when one side of the device is a different temperature from the other, have been the subject of much research in recent years. Now, a team at MIT has come up with a novel way ...

Squeezing into the best shape

February 15, 2018

Until now, producing liquids that can be shaped and reshaped on demand hasn't been possible. Scientists discovered a simple way to form stabilized droplets in a variety of structures. Tightly packed nanoparticle-polymer assemblies ...

Recommended for you

Converting heat into electricity with pencil and paper

February 19, 2018

Thermoelectric materials can use thermal differences to generate electricity. Now there is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way of producing them with the simplest tools: a pencil, photocopy paper, and conductive ...

Bringing a hidden superconducting state to light

February 16, 2018

A team of scientists has detected a hidden state of electronic order in a layered material containing lanthanum, barium, copper, and oxygen (LBCO). When cooled to a certain temperature and with certain concentrations of barium, ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

20nmon
1 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2008
Is the current better used by heating or generating the magnetic field? The magnetic field usually requires an adjacent wire that takes up extra space.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.