Memory is one of the most important human capacities, and curiously, it is also for the world of technology and computing. Think that when you turn on the computer and start using it, the RAM works in a similar way Just like human memory does, obviously bridging the gap, and the same thing happens with other devices that start from the same internal structure.
It is not possible to reach the level of human memory with computer components, but a group of scientists from the «École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne» (EPFL) in Switzerland they have made a discovery that could be key to getting a little closer to that goal, at least in theory, I tell you why.
That group of scientists recently discovered, and accidentally, a chemical compound that can be used in electronics to remember physical stimuli for a certain period of time, provided it is used correctly. Needless to say, this could have a huge impact on the world of memory used in electronic devices.
The discovery took place when doctoral student Mohammad Samizadeh Nikoo was investigating phase transitions in vanadium dioxide. He wanted to find out how long it takes for the material to go from one state to another, and he saw that when the material reaches 68 degrees Celsius it undergoes a strong transition from insulator to metal. His tests consisted of applying an electric current to a material, which heats it and causes it to change state as it moves from one side to the other. Once the current passes, the material cools down and returns to its original state.
After making hundreds of measurements, the student detected that a memory effect was produced in the structure of this compound, and that is that when a second pulse of current was applied to the material, it took a certain time to change state, and that delay was directly related to your change history, i.e. he presented a kind of memory related to the “treatment” he had received.
According to Professor Elison Matioli, vanadium dioxide seemed able to remember the first phase of state transition and to anticipate the next, something simply impressive that is equivalent to a kind of memory that is directly related to the physical structure of this compound. In subsequent tests, they discovered that the material was capable of remembering the most recent stimulus it had received, and that this memory was maintained for a period of three hours, although unfortunately the team did not have all the necessary equipment to carry out more advanced measurements.
This discovery converts vanadium dioxide to a compound with great potential in the world of electronicssince this memory capacity could have important implications in the sector, although at the moment its application to any specific project is not contemplated, and it is understandable since this discovery is still “in its infancy”.