Professor Mario Lanza has been recently appointed as member of the Editorial Board of Advanced Electronic Materials, a multidisciplinary journal from Nature Publishing Group with an impact factor of 5.466. Prof. Lanza has joined the “Electronics, Photonics and Device Physics Panel”, and he will be in charge of: i) assessing whether manuscripts should be sent for peer review, ii) managing the peer review of manuscripts and make final editorial decisions – whether to accept, reject or allow resubmission, and iii) act as an advocate for Advanced Electronic Materials. This is an important achievementand, together with his previous appointment at the board of Crystal Research & Technology (Wiley-VCH), indicates the high influence of Prof. Lanza in the field of electronics and applied physics. Congratulations !!!
Screenshot of the website of Advanced Electronic Materials showing the Editorial Board members
The research group led by the Prof. Mario Lanza, based at the Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials of Soochow University, has developed memristors capable of partially emulating the behavior of biological synapses in the human brain. Synapses are nerve endings that connect neurons in the brain, and have the function of transmitting (or not) the electrical impulses that these generate. To do this, the synapses change their resistivity by secreting calcium and sodium ions. In a very similar way, memristors are two terminals electronic devices nano-structured in the form of conductor/insulator/conductor, in which the insulating layer can change its resistivity depending on the electrical impulses applied to the input by secreting ions of oxygen or metal.
Despites memristors were considered the most promising electronic device to emulate the behavior of biological synapses, until now their main limitation was that memristors made of traditional materials (metals and oxides) had many difficulties in emulating the dynamic behavior of a synapse. In other words, the changes in resistivity in a traditional memristor were produced very abruptly between two states depending on the applied electrical impulses, while in a synapse the modulation of the resistivity is more progressive and its relaxation depends much more on the time. The memristors developed by the group of Prof. Mario Lanza show, for the first time, a very progressive, stable and repetitive relaxation process, which represents a new world record. In addition, these memristors allow to work in volatile or non-volatile mode depending on the electrical impulses applied to the input, as biological synapses do. These advances have been possible thanks to the introduction of two-dimensional materials in the structure of the memristors, such as multi-layer hexagonal boron nitride (also called white graphene). These results, published this week in Nature Electronics, represent a major breakthrough for the manufacture of artificial neural networks, which are computational structures essential for the development of advanced artificial intelligence systems.
Image : Conductive filament formed in a metal/h-BN/metal electronic synapse after applying an electrical stress between the electrodes. Silver, blue and yellow spheres represent metal, nitrogen and boron atoms.
In the morning of July 6th, Dr. Umberto Celano (Senior Researcher, IMEC) visited our group and gave an invited talk titled “Scalpel SPM toward the three-dimensional characterization of confined volumes”. In this talk, he shared his latest work on the use of novel scanning probe microscopy (SPM) tomography to characterize different types of materials and devices. Afterward, we had a lab tour and introduced the development of our institute and group. Dr. Celano is the recipient of the Nano Letters Young Investigator Award and published his PhD thesis as a book in Springer.
Image: Kaichen Zhu, Dr. Umberto Celano, Fei Hui (from left to right) by the Jinji Lake
On July 4th – 7th, our group members Shaochuan Chen, Bin Yuan, Xianhu Liang and Mario Lanza participated in the 24th IEEE International Symposium on the Physical and Failure Analysis of Integrated Circuits (IPFA) in Chengdu, China. In the conference, Prof. Mario Lanza was invited to give a tutorial talk on “Conductive atomic force microscopy and its use in nanoelectronic device reliability” and an invited talk on “TiO2/SiOx bilayer insulating stacks for filamentary/distributed resistive switching”. It’s a great experience to take part in the conference and we got the opportunity to interact with the top experts in the field.
Image: Prof. Mario Lanza (right) with Conference chairs
The use of two dimensional (2D) materials to improve the capabilities of electronic devices is a promising strategy that has recently gained much interest in both academe and industry. In this paper, we develop resistive random access memories (RRAM) using 2D material. We use for the first time layered h-BN as resistive switching medium, and engineered a new family of devices with different perforances. This invention has been protected with an international patent, and the results have been published in Advanced Functional Materials, which has an impact factor of 11.38. This investigation has been developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and Harvard University. This breaking report represents an important milestone towards the implementation of advanced digital electronic devices using 2D materials.
Schematic, cross-sectional TEM image and typical behavior of the Ti/h-BN/Cu RRAM devices developed in our group.
Fei started to work in this project in September of 2013. She has developed a cost-effective and scalable approach to fabricate graphene-coated nanoprobes. Her work was published in Nanoscale and Surface & Coatings Technology, and protected with an international patent. Now, we received generour investment of near 1 million USD fromt the Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation to introduce this product in the market.
(Left) Standard metal-varnished nanoprobe for CAFM. (Right) Standard metal-varnished nanoprobe for CAFM coated with a thin film of single layer graphene. (Center) Schematic of the graphene coated nanoprobe.
The China RRAM International Workshop launches its first edition with the objective of becoming the major forum in China for discussion on resistive random access memories and related applications. Invited speakers includ H.-S. Philip Wong (Stanford University, USA), Ming Liu (IMECAS, China), Paul C. McIntyre (Stanford University, USA), Wei Lu (University of Michigan, USA), Ilia Valov (Forschungszengrum Juelich, Germany), Deji Akinwande (University of Texas, USA), Kin Leong Pey (SUTD, Singapore), Hyunsang Hwang (POSTECH, Korea), Anthony Kenyon (University College London, UK), Luca Larcher (UNIMORE, Italy), Jordi Suñe (UAB, Catalonia, Spain), Felix Palumbo (UTN-CNEA, Argentina). The deadline for abstract submission is April 15th. Selected contributions will be published as special issue in Crystal Research & Technology, a journal from Wiley-VCH. Dr. Hakim Meskine, editor for Advanced Materials family, will give a talk highlighting different publishing opportunities for the RRAM community in Wiley-VCH journals.
Flyer of the 1st China RRAM international workshop, organized by Lanzalab.
Professor Mario Lanza has been recently appointed as member of the Editorial Board of Scientific Reports, a multidisciplinary journal from Nature Publishing Group with an impact factor of 5.228. Prof. Lanza has joined the “Electronics, Photonics and Device Physics Panel”, and he will be in charge of: i) assessing whether manuscripts should be sent for peer review, ii) managing the peer review of manuscripts and make final editorial decisions – whether to accept, reject or allow resubmission, and iii) act as an advocate for Scientific Reports. This is an important achievementand, together with his previous appointment at the board of Crystal Research & Technology (Wiley-VCH), indicates the high influence of Prof. Lanza in the field of electronics and applied physics. Congratulations !!!
On December 5th-7th, our group members Fei Hui, Yuanyuan Shi, Macro A. Villena and Mario Lanza participated in the 2016 IEDM, which was held in San Francisco (USA). In the conference, professor Mario Lanza gave a talk titled “2D h-BN based RRAM device”. It’s a wonderful experience to participate this flagship conference for electronic devices and meet the world experts in this field. We also had the opportunity to discuss with several friends in the field of RRAM devices.
Image: Fei Hui, Yuanyuan Shi, Macro A. Villena and Mario Lanza (from left to right)
On November 27th – December 2nd, our group member Fei Hui participated in the 2016 MRS Fall Meeting in Boston (USA). Materials Research Society (MRS) is leading world meeting for materials scientists. Fei Hui had the opportunity to discuss with world experts in the field of 2D materials based electronic devices.
Image: Fei Hui in 2016 MRS Fall Meeting in Boston, US