Single molecule technology could finally break Moore’s law and allow gadgets to store huge amounts of data on tiny flash storage cards. Chemists behind the new molecules say the new technology could help solve the looming flash storage dilemma.
Flash memory, used in nearly all of our favourite gadgets, is hampered by the physical limits of data cells, which currently use metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) components. These are almost impossible to manufacture at a scale below ten nanometers, setting an upper limit on the how much can be stored.
Scientists have now claimed a breakthrough in the use of individual molecules as a replacement for conventional data-storage components. The benefits are massive, or rather very small, with huge amounts of data potentially being stored on tiny flash memory units.
The team from the University of Glasgow and Rovira i Virgili University in Spain have successfully designed and synthesised new molecules that work in a similar way to transistors. The new metal-oxide clusters, known as polyoxometalates (POMs), are detailed in the journal Nature.
Professor Lee Cronin from the University of Glasgow, who led the research team, said that the new technology had incredible potential.
“The incorporation of molecules will allow us to further scale down and extend Moore’s law and potentially even go beyond this with multiple bits of storage per single molecule,” he told WIRED.co.uk.
“One major benefit of the POMs we’ve created is that it’s possible to fabricate them with devices which are already widely-used in industry, so they can be adopted as new forms of flash memory without requiring production lines to be expensively overhauled.”
The Latest on: Single molecule tech
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The Latest on: Single molecule tech
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