MME researchers find thermal memory thrives at extremely high temperatures

MME researchers find thermal memory thrives at extremely high temperatures

Calendar Icon Jan 12, 2015          RSS Feed RSS

MME graduate student Mahmoud Elzouka (left) and MME assistant professor Sidy Ndao.
MME graduate student Mahmoud Elzouka (left) and MME assistant professor Sidy Ndao.
The performance of electronic memory devices is known to degrade at high temperatures, but Nebraska Engineering researchers have proposed a new memory that requires temperatures in excess of 600 degrees Kelvin (620 Fahrenheit) to operate.

Mahmoud Elzouka, graduate student of mechanical and materials engineering, and Sidy Ndao, assistant professor of MME have published a paper on NanoThermalMechanical memory in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.

The new device would use heat instead of electricity to record, store, and recover data. With its ability to operate at extremely high temperatures, the memory could be used in space exploration missions, deep-well drilling, and in combustion engines, among other applications.

In the future, Ndao told Phys.org, the NanoThermoMechanical memory could also be used as a logic device, with the advantage of operating in high-temperature environments. The next steps include experimentally realizing the memory design.

"The important significance is the actual design/development of a practical, high-temperature memory (and logic) device," Ndao said. "Currently, nothing exists that can fulfill data recording or random access memories that can function well in extreme environments. ... We are currently in the process of fabricating a working prototype of the near-field NanoThermoMechanical memory."