Recent articles published by EE Professors Eric Pop and H.S. Philip Wong describe advances in memory and data storage using graphene. The three experiments demonstrate post-silicon materials and technologies that store more data per square inch and use a fraction of the energy of today's memory chips.
The unifying thread in all three experiments is graphene, an extraordinary material isolated a decade ago but which had, until now, relatively few practical applications in electronics.
"Graphene is the star of this research," said Eric Pop, associate professor of electrical engineering and a contributor to two of the three memory projects. "With these new storage technologies, it would be conceivable to design a smartphone that could store 10 times as much data, using less battery power, than the memory we use today."
Professor H.-S. Philip Wong and Pop led an international group of collaborators who describe the graphene-centric memory technologies in separate articles in Nature Communications, Nano Letters, and Applied Physics Letters.
"Data storage has become a significant, large-scale consumer of electricity, and new solid-state memory technologies such as these could also transform cloud computing," Wong said.
Pop and Wong agree that these studies show that graphene is far from a laboratory curiosity. The material's unique electrical, thermal and atomically thin properties can be utilized to create more energy-efficient data storage. Such properties do not exist in the silicon world, yet could potentially transform the way we store and access our digital data in the future.
Excerpts from the Stanford Report.