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Memory device using movement of protons

United States Patent

December 12, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An enhancement of 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 during an anneal in an atmosphere containing hydrogen gas. Device operation is enhanced by concluding this anneal step with a sudden cooling. The device operates at low power, is preferably nonvolatile, is radiation tolerant, and is compatible with convention silicon MOS processing for integration with other microelectronics elements on the same silicon substrate.
Warren; William L. (Arlington, VA), Vanheusden; Karel J. R. (Albuquerque, NM), Fleetwood; Daniel M. (Albuquerque, NM), Devine; Roderick A. B. (38950 St. Martin le Vinoux, FR), Archer; Leo B. (Garland, TX), Brown; George A. (Arlington, TX), Wallace; Robert M. (Richardson, TX)
09/ 064,488
April 22, 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.