New molecules could be the key to solving a looming problem with flash memory storage, researchers said in a new report published in the latest issue of Nature. Flash memory is a popular form of electronic data storage. However, there is a physical limit to the minimum size of the current design of data cells, which currently use metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) components. Because MOS is difficult to manufacture at a scale below 10 nanometres.
Novel molecules could help flash memory move beyond its storage limits, allowing for massive amounts of data to be recorded in small spaces, according to European scientists. Metal-oxide clusters that can retain electrical charge and act as RAM could form a new basis for data cells used in flash memory, the researchers from the University of Glasgow’s Schools of Chemistry and Engineering and Rovira i Virgili University in Spain wrote in a letter published in Nature. The group of 13 researchers said that polyoxometalate (POM) molecules can act as storage nodes for MOS flash memory. They used tungsten to synthesize POM metal-oxide clusters and added selenium to their inner cores, in a process known as doping, to create a new type of memory they call “write-once-erase.” The research addresses the limits of the size of data cells in flash memory, which is widely used in mobile devices such as smartphones, memory sticks and cameras.