Thursday, May 28, 2009

US Patent 7539119 - Mem-resistor probe tip memory

Millipede memory has been under development by IBM and others based on the use of large arrays of cantilevered tips which write data by a thermal heating of polymer. This patent from Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute modifies the millipede concept by using metal oxide materials having the resistance switching properties characteristic of memory resistors. Claim 1 reads:

1. A data storage apparatus comprising:

a substrate;

a lower electrode layer disposed on the substrate;

a metal oxide layer disposed on the lower electrode layer;

a probe tip disposed on the metal oxide layer opposite the lower electrode layer and for scanning a local region of the metal oxide layer in units of nanometer, wherein the probe tip applies a write voltage to the local region of the metal oxide layer so that the resistance of the local region is sharply changed until a resistive state of the local region is switched from a first state to a second state or measures current flowing through the local region according to the resistive state and reads data stored in the local region;

a driver for transferring the position of the probe tip to the local region of the metal oxide layer; and a controller for controlling the probe tip and the driver, wherein the driver includes: a substrate driver for transferring the substrate in at least units of nanometer; and

a probe tip driver for driving the probe tip.