From the memristor to the atomristor?

I’m going to let Michael Berger explain the memristor (from Berger’s Jan. 2, 2017 Nanowerk Spotlight article),

In trying to bring brain-like (neuromorphic) computing closer to reality, researchers have been working on the development of memory resistors, or memristors, which are resistors in a circuit that ‘remember’ their state even if you lose power.

Today, most computers use random access memory (RAM), which moves very quickly as a user works but does not retain unsaved data if power is lost. Flash drives, on the other hand, store information when they are not powered but work much slower. Memristors could provide a memory that is the best of both worlds: fast and reliable.

He goes on to discuss a team at the University of Texas at Austin’s work on creating an extraordinarily thin memristor: an atomristor,

he team’s work features the thinnest memory devices and it appears to be a universal effect available in all semiconducting 2D monolayers.

The scientists explain that the unexpected discovery of nonvolatile resistance switching (NVRS) in monolayer transitional metal dichalcogenides (MoS2, MoSe2, WS2, WSe2) is likely due to the inherent layered crystalline nature that produces sharp interfaces and clean tunnel barriers. This prevents excessive leakage and affords stable phenomenon so that NVRS can be used for existing memory and computing applications.

“Our work opens up a new field of research in exploiting defects at the atomic scale, and can advance existing applications such as future generation high density storage, and 3D cross-bar networks for neuromorphic memory computing,” notes Akinwande [Deji Akinwande, an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin]. “We also discovered a completely new application, which is non-volatile switching for radio-frequency (RF) communication systems. This is a rapidly emerging field because of the massive growth in wireless technologies and the need for very low-power switches. Our devices consume no static power, an important feature for battery life in mobile communication systems.”

Here’s a link to and a citation for the Akinwande team’s paper,

Atomristor: Nonvolatile Resistance Switching in Atomic Sheets of Transition Metal Dichalcogenides by Ruijing Ge, Xiaohan Wu, Myungsoo Kim, Jianping Shi, Sushant Sonde, Li Tao, Yanfeng Zhang, Jack C. Lee, and Deji Akinwande. Nano Lett., Article ASAP DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b04342 Publication Date (Web): December 13, 2017

Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society

This paper appears to be open access.

ETA January 23, 2018: There’s another account of the atomristor in Samuel K. Moore’s January 23, 2018 posting on the Nanoclast blog (on the IEEE [Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers] website).

2 thoughts on “From the memristor to the atomristor?

  1. Rachid Belharti

    hi,
    it’s a good step but we still nee more other steps to make the most great non volatile memories for SSD data storage or all other needs.
    the atomristor make the thin level of storage possible but we still make it by the two binary states (0) or (1) and this must change we can’t use this any longer. it blocs the development of the computationnel technologies.
    sorry for my english but i work on this since many years now and i hope that intel, mircon and the other compagnies change this and give us the chance to have true smartest computer and true technologie progress. if we keep the binary states cells i guess that we are just loosing time and efforts.
    Best Regards

  2. Maryse de la Giroday Post author

    Dear Rachid Belhart, Thank you for reading and thank you for your intriguing comment. Please excuse my ignorance but my understanding is that quantum computing is supposed to usher in the change from binary to multiple states. Are you saying there are other roads to multiple states? As for Intel, Micron, etc. blocking the way to a new age of computing, is that due to patent thickets along with institutional inertia? I appreciate you may not have time to answer my questions or that they phrased in such a way that they don’t facilitate easy communication. Cheers, Maryse

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