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strontium titanate and silicon atoms

Researchers have matched the spacing of strontium titanate atoms and silicon atoms to produce ferroelectric properties.

Jeremy Levy, University of Pittsburgh

Researchers supported by the National Science Foundation have achieved a breakthrough in adding ferroelectric materials to silicon, without intervening reaction layers. The development could help other researchers in their effort to usher in instant access to computing, without users having to boot and reboot computer operating systems.

Ferroelectric materials is the same low-power, high-efficiency electronic memory technology that smart cards use to instantly reveal and update stored information when waved before a reader.

The team, led by Cornell University's Darrell Schlom, placed strontium titanate on silicon in a way in which the silicon would squeeze the strontium titanate into a ferroelectric state. "Several hybrid transistors have been proposed specifically with ferroelectrics in mind," Schlom says. "By creating a ferroelectric directly on silicon, we are bringing this possibility closer to realization." The development could lead to a new wave of memory devices that use less power and are faster and more convenient to use.

From National Science Foundation
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