Advancing Resistive Memory to Improve Portable Electronics

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — A team at the University of California, Riverside  Bourns College of Engineering has developed a novel way to build what many see as the next generation memory storage devices for portable electronic devices including smart phones, tablets, laptops and digital cameras.

The device is based on the principles of resistive memory, which can be used to create memory cells that are smaller, operate at a higher speed and offer more storage capacity than flash memory cells, the current industry standard. Terabytes, not gigbytes, will be the norm with resistive memory.

The key advancement in the UC Riverside research is the creation of a zinc oxide nano-island on silicon. It eliminates the need for a second element called a selector device, which is often a diode.

“This is a significant step as the electronics industry is considering wide-scale adoption of resistive memory as an alternative for flash memory,” said  Jianlin Liu, a professor of electrical engineering at UC Riverside who is one of the authors of the paper. “It really simplifies the process and lowers the fabrication cost.”

The findings were published online this week in the journal  Scientific Reports, which is part of Nature Publishing Group. The paper is called  “Multimode Resistive Switching in Single ZnO Nanoisland System.”


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