The environmentally friendly material could advance the use of phase-change memory, which is being actively researched as an alternative to the ubiquitous flash memory for data storage.
Flash memory is limited in its storage density, and phase-change memory can operate much faster, researchers report in the journal Applied Physics Letters of the American Institute of Physics.
Phase-change materials quickly change from a disordered, amorphous structure to a crystalline structure when an electrical pulse is applied. The new structure possesses high electrical resistance in its amorphous state and low resistance in its crystalline state, corresponding to the 1 and 0 states of binary data.
Flash memory runs into operating problems when devices get smaller than 20 nanometers, but a phase-change memory device can be less than 10 nanometers, allowing more memory to be squeezed into tinier spaces, Xilin Zhou of the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences said.
"That's the most important feature of this kind of memory," Zhou said.
Data can be written into phase-change memories very quickly and such devices would be relatively inexpensive, he added.
Reindeer recovered after escaping from Santa during lighting ceremony
Wisconsin business offering 'therapeutic cuddling' forced to close