Researchers at Purdue University have discovered a new functionality in a material called molybdenum ditelluride, which could allow storage and retrieval of huge amounts of data at much faster speeds while consuming much less power.
With advancement in smart device technology, researchers feel a greater need to design better memory devices which are able to store/retrieve large amounts of data at faster speeds, but with less power requirements. Resistive random access memory (RRAM) is one such technique which has the potential to address these issues.
In RRAM, a memory cell is made up of stacked material. Driving an electrical current through the memory cell causes a change in the resistance, which is then used to record data as 0s and 1s in the memory.
But, to create a RRAM device, the material used should be robust enough to handle storage and retrieval of data trillions of times. So far, scientists have not been able to find such a reliable material for producing RRAM devices on a large scale.
Molybdenum ditelluride could potentially handle all those cycles, claim Purdue University scientists, who conducted the current research in collaboration with Theiss Research Inc. and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Molybdenum ditelluride is a two-dimensional material that can be easily stacked into multiple layers to create a memory cell. It allows the memory system to quick switch between 0 and 1, thereby potentially increasing the rate of data storage and retrieval compared to conventional RRAM devices.
"We haven't yet explored system fatigue using this new material, but our hope is that it is both faster and more reliable than other approaches due to the unique switching mechanism we've observed," said Professor Joerg Appenzeller from Purdue University.
According to Appenzeller, these resistive states need much less power to change, thereby allowing a battery to last longer.
The team also wants to explore creating a stacked memory cell with ability to process data and also incorporating interconnecting wires to transfer electrical signals.
The details of the research are published in journal Nature Materials.
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