University of Lancaster Invents Yet Another Memory
According to the papers, the new memory exploits the quantum properties of a triple-barrier Resonant Tunneling (RT) structure to produce a nonvolatile memory that can be either read or written with low-voltages. This RT structure, illustrated in this post’s graphic, is produced by using elements from the 3rd and 5th columns in the periodic table, a combination called “III-V”, that is common in optical devices like LEDs and high-efficiency solar cells, and is less commonly used in microwave electronics. Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) is one of the most common III-V semiconductors.
III-V wafers are known for their high manufacturing cost. The Lancaster researchers assert that: “Due to the large (2.1 eV) barrier, the intrinsic (thermal excitation) electron storage time of our InAs/AlSb system was predicted to exceed substantially the age of the Universe.” That’s certainly a noteworthy claim!