Flash storage is one of the main components that makes low power electronics so flexible. Unlike common DRAM, which needs constant refreshing in order to retain its contents, flash memory will stay written for about 10 years without power. However, flash pays for that longevity in access times, which are much slower than those for DRAM. The perfect memory would be nonvolatile like flash yet provide access faster than the current generation of DRAM. Quantum dots, with their nicely tunable electronic properties, look like they may fit the bill.
Researchers in Germany have been exploring the suitability of self-assembled arrays of quantum dots for nonvolatile storage. A quantum dot is a small clump of atoms that is confined in a way that restricts the motion of the electrons, making the whole thing act like a single atom. The properties of the dot can be modified by changing the size of the clump or the constituent atoms.
Quantum Dots, Flash Memory, Sotrage, Memory, Memory Cards