Nanowire-based nonvolatile memory
Super-dense computer memory
This invention concerns a novel non-volatile super-dense computer memory. The memory is based on ferrooxide material coated inorganic semiconductor nanowires, such as barium titanate coated silicon. The nanowire is used to make a field-effect transistor (FET) composed of the nanowire core in ohmic contact with the source, and drain electrodes and a gate in contact with the ferrooxide coating, similar to an industry standard MRIS planar FET.
The memory has been demonstrated to hold information for at least a week and is expected, with optimization, to hold data for years. The new memory combines the speed of DRAM with the non-volatility of flash memory and low-power consumption of SRAM, and could be the basis of memories needed for future mobile electronic devices.
Innovations and Advantages
A great advantage of the nanowire-based FET of the invention over the prior art planar FET is that it can store many bits of data because many top gates can be placed in contact with the ferrooxide coating, each such gated portion of the nanowire being capable of storing a bit. These gates can, in theory, be within 2.4 nm of each other, resulting in a super dense memory.
Intellectual Property Status: A PCT patent application was filed December 6, 2005.
Lieber, Charles M.
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Reference Harvard Case #2422