MANA Research Highlights: Atomic Switch Reaching Outer Space

 

Source: Research highlight from MANA, the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics at NIMS, Tsukuba, Japan.

Tsukuba, Japan, 17 February 2017

Subject line: MANA Research Highlights: Atomic Switch Reaching Outer Space

(Tsukuba, 17 February 2017) 10-year journey of the atomic switch in nanospace is finally reaching practical use in space satellites several thousand kilometers above earth

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MANA Research Highlights Vol. 31 (17 February 2017)

http://www.nims.go.jp/mana/research/highlights/vol31.html

In 2001, the atomic switch was invented through an unconventional combination of a state-of-the-art scanning tunneling microscope (STM) and a small piece of Ag2S ion/electron mixed conductor. Generation and annihilation of metallic nanofilament in a tunnel gap (about 1 nm) enabled quantized and nonvolatile conductance switching with a low operation voltage that is impossible with other methods. The atomic switch marked a beginning of a new paradigm, namely nanoelectronics achieved by ions, which was succeeded in the derivative technologies: memristor and resistive random access memory. In conventional semiconductor technology, ions had long been nothing but troublesome impurities causing unstable operations; however, they are now playing a leading role in next-generation information and communication technology.

Masakazu Aono (Director-General, MANA) and his co-workers invented the atomic switch and have been developing the technology with several researchers at MANA/NIMS for about 10 years in collaboration with NEC Corp. Now, the atomic switch has come into practical use as the “NEC AtomSW-FPGA (Atomic Switch-Field Programmable Gate Array),” which will soon be used in robots and space satellites. …

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http://www.nims.go.jp/mana/research/highlights/vol31.html

References

http://www.nims.go.jp/mana/atomswitch2017/