New invention that can open doors for future memory storage devices developed

October 9th, 2008 - 5:56 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 9 (ANI): A new phase change material with the potential to change the design of future memory storage devices has been invented by scientists at Singapore ASTAR’’s Data Storage Institute (DSI).

Phase change materials can modify their structure between amorphous and crystalline at high speed.

The materials, these days, are used to make Phase change memory (PCM), considered to be the most promising alternative to replace FLASH memory.

Usually, PCM is worked by changing phase change materials” structure through applying an electric current. But now, phase change can be initiated by means of switching the new phase change materials by using magnetic fields, reports Nature.

Led by Shi Luping, Ph.D. the researchers 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.

Now, scientists are hoping to develop materials that could be switched by application of magnetic fields.

Shi added: “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.”

The study was published in Nature’’s Asia Materials journal. (ANI)

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