Stone-Melting Heat Device Ready for Operation

Stone-Melting Heat Device Ready for Operation

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a revolutionary computing storage device capable of functioning accurately at rock-melting temperatures. This innovation promises to advance the future of computing in extreme environments on Earth.

Currently, non-volatile memory (NVM) devices, such as solid-state drives (SSDs), cease to operate effectively at temperatures above 300 degrees Celsius. However, the researchers have created a new ferroelectric diode—a type of semiconductor switching device—that can maintain operation for hours even at 600 degrees Celsius.

This breakthrough means that sensors and computing devices incorporating this diode can be utilized in extremely harsh environments, including nuclear plants, deep-field oil and gas exploration, or even on the hottest planets in our solar system.

The NVM device, detailed in a paper published in the journal Nature Electronics, is made from ferroelectric aluminum scandium nitride (AlScN). Over the past five years, AlScN has emerged as the highest-performing semiconductor material in modern science.

The AlScN diode-based device measures just 45 nanometers in width, making it 1800 times smaller than a human hair.

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