Future society faces a major challenge: finding a sustainable balance between limited natural resources and the growing need for energy, materials, connections between people and communities. In the age of the Internet of Things, ideally, every object functional to improving our lives will be equipped with memory, computing and communication capabilities, such that it will establish a degree of interconnectedness that emulates that of natural eco-systems. The efficient management of the enormous amount of data that will result, and that is already produced today, will require the use of neuromorphic computing. The materials that could enable such information processes and with state variables other than charge are very interesting, but often incompatible with CMOS electronics. Among the various candidates, resistive-switching phase-change memory (PCM) technology has gained considerable interest for its application as "storage class memory," mainly because of its scalability, fast write time, long data retention (more than 10 years), and excellent endurance properties. Phase change materials store information in their amorphous, crystalline phases, which can be reversibly switched by the application of an external voltage or current.
The PCM technology is already used in the production lines of semiconductor industries and is still developing towards higher data density, higher speed, and lower power consumption. In this scenario and based on the experience already gained in research from various European projects from FP6, FP7 and H2020, the activity in IMM Rome aims to investigate novel combinations of phase change materials that have the potential to be implemented in neuromorphic computing platforms within brain-inspired neuro-computing architectures. This will pave the way for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) through the resulting devices, with possible applications in various areas identified by the LAST initiative, notably medical diagnostics, sustainable development and renewable energy.
- Synthesis of phase change chalcogenide materials in the form of thin films and multilayer structures
- Fabrication of test devices
- Structural, compositional, and electrical analysis, thermal stability of the obtained materials and devices.
- Applications in non-volatile memories and neuromorphic devices.
- Keywords: phase change materials, films and multilayers of Ge-Sb-Te,GaTe, TiTe, InTe, transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDC), functional properties.
Fully involved permanent scientists
Sara De Simone
Custom-made IONVAC RF-Sputtering system
- 4 confocal targets
- In situ heating up to 500°C
- planetary system for deposition
- Structural analysis
Bruker D8 Discover Diffractometer
- High-resolution XRD for powder and single crystals
- heating in situ up to 1100°C
Thermo Fisher Scientific Raman Microscope DXR2xi
- Ultra-fast chemical imaging
- Confocal 3D analysis
- Optical microscopy