Scientists Invent Data Storage in Metal Using Berry Curvature

Researchers from Berkeley and Stanford have recently discovered a new way to store data using metal with the help of quantum geometry, specifically the Berry curvature. SciTech Daily reported that this conceptual innovation offers a non-volatile and energy-efficient storage type.

The research team, led by the University of Hong Kong President Professor Xiang Zhang with the help of Stanford University Professor Aaron Lindenberg’s team, created the new storage invention.

The teams experimented with multiple layers to read and write information using odd and even numbers. They used odd-numbered layers, which slide in connection with 3nm-thick tungsten ditelluride layers with even numbers.

Data Storage in Metal Using Berry Curvature

According to SciTech Daily, “The arrangement of these atomic layers represents 0 and 1 for data storage.” Potentially, this new method would consume 100 less energy than conventional options.

The multilayer structure is composed of three layers made of tungsten ditelluride, which when injected with carriers, will cause odd-numbered layers in the middle to slide over the even-numbered ones, resulting in the permanent writing of information.

Info can be read using a large Berry curvature, which is likened to a magnetic field that creates a Hall effect, which reads the arrangement of the atomic layer.

The novel storage was developed at a time when digital data continues to expand, especially with the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. Such techs are being used in various industries such as big data and healthcare.

Just this year, the world’s data reached 44 zettabytes or a whopping 40,017,766,878.01, and this figure is expected to grow over time.

This makes the current computing and storage technology insufficient in the future. Existing options also consume more energy with less speed.

Combined with the fact that current tech can deteriorate, the development and creation of novel options becomes a more essential endeavor in order to accommodate more data.

The Berkeley-Stanford collaboration was inspired by two studies by Professors Zhang and Lindenberg.

Respectively, the researches are titled “Structural phase transition of single-layer MoTe2 driven by electrostatic doping” published in the scientific journal Nature in 2017 and “Use of light to control the switch of material properties in topological materials” published in the same journal in 2019.

The resulting conceptual innovation is proof that two-dimensional semi-metals can be used to create non-volatile (NVW) storage instead of only silicon materials as is conventional and applied in most existing devices.

The new NVW option is expected to work in favor of the development of in-memory computing and neural network processing said SciTech Daily.