EE Times Europe
(05/25/2009 9:29 AM EDT)
We report on a simple electromechanical memory device in which an iron nanoparticle shuttle is controllably positioned within a hollow nanotube channel. The shuttle can be moved reversibly via an electrical write signal and can be positioned with nanoscale precision. The position of the shuttle can be read out directly via a blind resistance read measurement, allowing application as a nonvolatile memory element with potentially hundreds of memory states per device. The shuttle memory has application for archival storage, with information density as high as 1012 bits/in2, and thermodynamic stability in excess of one billion years.
The information density can be as high as 1-terabit per square inch, according to a paper from the research team, led by Alex Zettl, of the University of California, Berkeley.
The memory is based on a nanoscale particle of iron that is contained and controllable positioned within a hollow carbon nanotube. The carbon nanotube is anchored to electrodes at either end and the nanoparticle can be moved, via an electrical write signal, and can be positioned anywhere within the tube.
The position of the nanoparticle can be read out via a resistance read measurement, allowing application as a nonvolatile memory element with potentially hundreds of memory states per device.