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Memory device using movement of protons

United States Patent

October 31, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An electrically written memory element utilizing the motion of protons within a dielectric layer surrounded by layers on either side to confine the protons within the dielectric layer with electrode means attached to the surrounding layers to change the spatial position of the protons within the dielectric layer. The device is preferably constructed as a silicon-silicon dioxide-silicon layered structure with the protons being introduced to the structure laterally through the exposed edges of the silicon dioxide layer during a high temperature anneal in an atmosphere containing hydrogen gas. The device operates at low power, is preferably nonvolatile, is radiation tolerant, and is compatible with convention silicon MOS processing for integration with other microelectronic elements on the same silicon substrate. With the addition of an optically active layer, the memory element becomes an electrically written, optically read optical memory element.
Warren; William L. (Albuquerque, NM), Vanheusden; Karel J. R. (Albuquerque, NM), Fleetwood; Daniel M. (Albuquerque, NM), Devine; Roderick A. B. (St. Martin le Vinoux, FR)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM), Science & Technology Corporation at University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM), France Telecom/CNET (Paris, FR)
09/ 129,588
August 5, 1998
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.