Memristors built with 2-nanometer-thick parts

Image of the crossbar array.

When two blocks are set down on top of each other, they’re
oriented so that they have nine intersections. (credit: Pi et
al.
)

Phase-change memory seems to offer the best of both worlds: the
speed of current RAM with the permanence of a hard disk. While
current implementations are too expensive for widespread use,
researchers have been doing interesting things with test hardware.
Its distinct properties have allowed people to
perform calculations
and
train neural networks
, all in memory. So finding out how to
make phase-change memory more efficient could open some new
approaches to computing.

This week, a collaboration between scientists at the University
of Massachusetts, Amherst and Brookhaven National Lab is publishing
a paper describing how it made a tiny set of memristors that acts
similarly to phase-change memory. The features of the memory are
only two nanometers across, and they can be separated by as little
as 12nm—below the cutting edge of processor manufacturing. The
down sides? So far, the team has only made nine bits at a time, and
they’re made using platinum.

On the grid

Key to this new work are tiny sheets of platinum only two
nanometers thick—that’s just over 11 atoms of the element. While
platinum is rather pricey, the thin sheets provide extremely low
resistance. The researchers measured each sheet at about 10,000
times less than the expected resistance of a similar-thickness
carbon nanotube. And the authors say they can manufacture the
sheets in the appropriate dimensions with a 100 percent
efficiency.

Read 10
remaining paragraphs

Source: FS – All – Science – News
Memristors built with 2-nanometer-thick parts