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A semi-floating gate memory based on van der Waals heterostructures for quasi-non-volatile applications

Nature Nanotechnologyvolume 13pages404410 (2018) | Download Citation


As conventional circuits based on field-effect transistors are approaching their physical limits due to quantum phenomena, semi-floating gate transistors have emerged as an alternative ultrafast and silicon-compatible technology. Here, we show a quasi-non-volatile memory featuring a semi-floating gate architecture with band-engineered van der Waals heterostructures. This two-dimensional semi-floating gate memory demonstrates 156 times longer refresh time with respect to that of dynamic random access memory and ultrahigh-speed writing operations on nanosecond timescales. The semi-floating gate architecture greatly enhances the writing operation performance and is approximately 106 times faster than other memories based on two-dimensional materials. The demonstrated characteristics suggest that the quasi-non-volatile memory has the potential to bridge the gap between volatile and non-volatile memory technologies and decrease the power consumption required for frequent refresh operations, enabling a high-speed and low-power random access memory.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61622401, 61734003) and the National Key Research and Development Program 2017YFB0405600. P.Z. thanks D. Sandubashao's group for encouragement and help, and P.F. Wang, F. Xiu, Q. Sun and N. Yan for assistance during device fabrication and for fruitful discussions.

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Author notes

  1. These authors contributed equally: Chunsen Liu, Peng Zhou.


  1. State Key Laboratory of ASIC and System, School of Microelectronics, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

    • Chunsen Liu
    • , Xiao Yan
    • , Xiongfei Song
    • , Shijin Ding
    • , David Wei Zhang
    •  & Peng Zhou


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P.Z. conceived the idea and supervised the experiments. C.L. performed the device fabrication and carried out the electrical characteristics measurements. X.Y. and X.S. provided valuable input to the overall experiments. S.D. and D.W.Z. provided input on the experiment conditions. C.L., D.W.Z. and P.Z. wrote the paper with help from all authors.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to David Wei Zhang or Peng Zhou.

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    Supplementary Figures 1–11, Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary References.

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