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10/24/2018 HYU News > Academics


A New Way to Delete Memory Through Light at Unprecedented Speed

Professor Jang Jae-young receives the Rising Academic Award by the Polymer Society of Korea


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Research on using light to delete information was already in existence, but it had one huge drawback. In the past, strong and long exposure to a light beam was crucial in order to erase information. Therefore, a need for a new memory technology that allowed eliminating information even with weak intensity of visible rays that flashed for shorter periods of time was in need. Professor Jang Jae-young (Department of Energy Engineering) has led the way to effectively eliminate stored information, contributing to power consumption savings for the better.
 News H interviewed professor Jang Jae-young (Department of Energy Engineering) on October 19th, 2018.

With the newly developed memory, it is possible to write and erase information through exposing light, instead of inflicting voltage. This is a phenomenon called the photoinduced recovery. In terms of memory, there are volatile and nonvolatile memory. Jang looked into nonvolatile memory, which is memory that can retrieve stored information even when the power is off.
While most of the findings aforementioned were research results from last year, the significance of the findings in this year’s thesis published on August 28th on ACS Nano is that it is now possible to delete information by exposing weak intensity of a visible ray in a relatively brief period of time. 1 mW/cm2 of faint light that can even be compared to fluorescent light needs to be flashed for just a second to do the job of deleting information.
Professor Jang Jae-young (Department of Energy Engineering) showed us his lab where all the experiments are done inside the 'glove box,' which is filled with nitrogen. 

The distinctive feature in Jang’s research is in the material that he used which are called quantum dots. He newly used quantum dots as the floating-gate layer of a memory, which is the inner circle that operates the memory and retains or deletes information. The definition of quantum dots is a semiconductor made into a nanometer-size. Because the main body of quantum dots does not melt in solvent, quantum dots are usually capped with small molecules called ligands. Jang introduced three different types of ligands in the experiment to tune the performance of memory devices. Specifically, by incorporating ligands containing fluorine, it derived the best result in terms of its ability to eliminate information.
To briefly summarize the point, a memory that used floating-gate layers with quantum dots that contained fluorinated ligands made it possible to delete information in one second of flashing 1 mW/cm2 intensity light. 
On the other hand, other than being nominated as one of the outstanding research papers of the week in Hanyang University, Jang received the “Rising Academic Award” hosted by the Polymer Society of Korea from October 10th to 12th. The potential recipients of the award were limited to researchers who had not passed seven years since the earning of their doctorate degree. “I find this award very honorable. It’s like the rookie of the year award for actors. While you may receive many awards throughout your research life, you don’t get much of a chance to win an award when you’re a rookie.”
Jang emphasized that the College of Engineering should strive to develop technology that will benefit the future generations and humanity for all. He also shared his hope that the widespread use of nanomaterials like quantum dots will bring about optimal results in creating storing devices for the next generation of electronic wearables in the future.

Kim Hyun-soo
Photos by Kang Cho-hyun
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