Organic Crystals for Ferroelectric Data StorageCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: August 29, 2012 05:22PM
Ferroelectric materials are being considered for future data storage technologies as they can be written to and read from with very low power, and very quickly. Unfortunately these materials are not often cheap and ferroelectric at room temperature. Researchers at Northwestern University though discovered a pair of organic molecules that together create a ferroelectric crystal that would be viable for data storage.
Like modern magnetic drives, ferroelectric materials can store data by flipping the magnetic orientation of a material to represent a 0 or 1. Instead of using a magnetic field to do this though, an electric field is used, which is easy produce, thus allowing ferroelectric memory to use less power. What the researchers found is that two organic molecules they were working with will assemble into a crystal structure that enables ferroelectric behavior at room temperature. The same interaction that causes that assembly has been known to create other ferroelectric materials, but this is the first that was ferroelectric at room temperature.
This research is not limited to just these two molecules though or to just ferroelectric properties. The interaction between the molecules could be used with other molecules to create even more interesting materials.