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Nano Ionica

By Alexander M. ILYANOK

At present researches in the field of investigating and designing external memory are focused at:

1. Changing the conception of designing the external giga/terabit memory for computers and other multimedia devices. This is realized by abandoning the mechanical scanning the surface of an information carrier and by using electrolyte media and self-scanning /Self-Scan/ a data carrier by an ionic cluster (IC-SS technology).

2. Designing audio and video data carriers, which are alternative to CD, DVD, CD-R, DVD-R, magnetic tape and other carriers by means of IC-SS technology. This is realized by formulating new standards and reducing costs of products to $0.1 for 1 gigabit of information, as well as by reducing the cost of reading devices to $10-$30 at the discard of mechanics.

Technology name: Microionics, nanoionics, giga/terabit external memory.

Patents: The search of technical and patent literature conducted by the end of 1999 revealed total absence of documents relating to use of ionic clusters (IC) in informatics. The works of Bayer T.H.(1970, US), Forward R.L. (1984, US), K. R. Shoulders (US Patent № 5,018,180), are per se experimental researches in the field of practical application of some features of electronic clusters (ЕС). The theory of EC as such does not exist.

Patentable objects:

· Principles of operating ionic-cluster devices and their structure,

· Methods for reading, recording and scanning; devices and structures based thereon.

· Technology for manufacturing of ionic devices.

· Control circuits.

· Charge amplifiers for reading.

Development level: The IC theory created by us has allowed to determine the following parameters: auto scanning of a IС charge (IC-SS); controlling the IС movement along electrodes in solid and liquid electrolytes without charge loss; recording information by pulse depositing of a specified part of an IС on the surface of the electrode; reproducing information by registration of deposited neutral clusters when an IC move near to them.

Experimental researches on forming separate IC clusters in cells of nanometer sizes, were conducted by means of the scanning tunnel microscope. The mobility of a cluster has been determined, electrolytes have been selected. There was created a technology for designing super smooth substrates having nanometer roughness on surfaces up to 30 sm2. There was developed a technology for contamination protection of supersmooth surfaces. There were developed special low power drain and low-noise charge amplifiers for reading out information.

The works explaining physics of the designed Know-How, as well as the technology of manufacturing and the design of the above described devices, will be published after their patenting. Basing on the results of our researches it is possible to proceed to patenting of IC-SS immediately.

Technology description :

Product description

1. An information carrier in the form of a digital ionic-cluster cartridge (DICC).

The non-programmed memory bases on the ionic-cluster cartridge DICC-ROM (further - DICC) constitutes a plastic card of the size 4.4‘. 8.6‘.0.2 cm. The card has metal strips of certain configuration on one or both sides. The strips function simultaneously for storing information and for reading control. They are connected to contacts located at edges of the card. The contacts are located at the edge of each side of a card for providing connection of DICC to the reading device or to the control unit (CU). The amount of strips and contacts is equal to the category of a binary word. The length of the word depending on the specific application and the required speed, may be within the range of 8 to 64 categories or more.

The topology is realized with the 0.15 Q. 0.5 microns resolution depending on the type of application. An electrolyte covers the metal strips. Contacts for reading out information are placed over the said electrolyte. Input of information is performed via CU . reading. contacts. The entire memory is divided into blocks, the amount of which is equal to the reading buses. The blocks in their turn are divided into pages and lines. The access time to any line does not exceed 7 мsec.

The ICs generated in the electrolyte act as the unit for memory selection and reading its lines. The selection is performed by parallel step-by-step movement of an IC along the electrodes in each memory unit (one IC per each unit). The IC moves step-by-step under the effect of the field created by current reading impulses incoming to DICC via CU contacts.

The potential incoming to the electrodes does not exceed the threshold of the electrochemical reaction (12 В). Each IC contains about 10000 ions. Due to the use of the electrolyte (our Know-How) that has an abnormally high mobility of ions (by 2-3 higher than average electrolytes). In such electrolytes the speed of movement of IC will be about 3 m/sec. In future we plan to reach a speed higher than an order of the magnititude.

A certain analogue of our device may serve the devices with charge connection (CCD), wherein information is carried by electron charge packets. However, these electrons are not connected into a cluster. Therefore, they have low stability and escape in the process of movement and storage. In our case, the ion cluster is absolutely steady during movement and stop.

2. Recordable data carrier in the form of a digital ion-cluster cartridge (DICC-R).

DICC-R is similar to DICC. It consists in a plastic card of a size 4.4‘. 8.6‘.0.2 cm having metal strips of certain configuration but without any applied information.

The information is recorded by means of local electrodeposition of metal from the electrolyte on metal control electrodes. Here is used an electrolyte that differs from the electrolyte used in DICC. The local electrodeposition of metal is performed by a special control impulse by means of IC when it passes the special region of the electrode.

Information is stored in unit memory cells in the form of neutral . atomic. clusters containing about 10000 atoms. The clusters are electrodeposited from the electrolyte.

Reading of information from DICC-R is performed in the similar way to reading of information from DICC. Information is recorded by special additional impulses.

Technology (of manufacturing)

The DICC and DICC-R technology is similar to DVD technology being also about the same cost. Actually, an operation of applying an electrolyte is added to the process of DICC manufacturing. Electrolytes may be solid, gel and liquid. Though electrolytes are made of conventional materials, they should meet certain requirements. The range of working temperatures of the electrolyte should agree with the range of working temperatures of batteries and of electrolytic capacitors. The range of allowable environment temperatures for non-cold-resistant are within -100С to +700С, and for cold-resistant electrolytes within -500С to +600С.

Q. The storage time of information will depend on the time of diffusion and evaporation of liquid and gel electrolytes. Roughly the time can be estimated according to the operating time of sealed electrolytic capacitors, i. e. not less than 10 Q.30 thousand hours. At low temperatures (-200С), in absence of a ultra-violet irradiation and aggressive environment, the storage time may exceed 30 years.

The control unit (CU) is used for reading information from DICC. This unit consists in a digital-to-analog microcircuit connected to a socket, into which the card is inserted. The microcircuit power drain will be not more than 0.15 W. It is conditioned by the fact that information from buses is read out in the form of charge packets of small sizes. To amplify them, we designed special low power drain and low-noise charge amplifiers.

3. DICC (T) и DICC (T)-R tera-bit memory

The transition from microionics to nanoioics will allow creating a terabit memory. The memory will consist of a solid-state card made of amorphous dielectric of the size 4.4x8.6x0.2 cm, having on one side metal strips applied by nanotechnology with the 10 nm resolution. In rest the design does not differ from DICC and DICC-R, except that each IC has a 15 nm diameter and contains about 300-1000 ions, and the speed of their step-by-step moving is about 3 m/sec.

A set of pieces will be designed for commercial marketing. The predictable characteristics are shown in the Table.

No Carrier Type Memory capacity, Gbit Word capacity, Bit Reading Speed (no less than) Mega-byte/sec Size of elements, nm

Fist step

1

DICC

А (audio)

1.2

16

4

500

2

DICC-R

А (audio)

1.2

16

4

500

Second step

3

DICC

V (video)

12

32

26

150

4

DICC-R

V (video)

12

32

26

150

Third step

5

DICC (T)

U (universal)

1200

64

520

15

6

DICC (T)-R

U (universal)

1200

64

520

15

The listed characteristics are computed on the conditions: card size - 4.4‘.8.6‘.0.2 cm, active area . 30 cm2, IC speed. not less than 1 m/sec, data record speed - 0.25, readout speed

Cost of production: $0.5 . DICC (audio), $1.0 . DICC-R (audio), the cost of DICC (video) and DICC-R (video) is similar to the cost of DVD and DVD-R respectively. The cost of production of DICC (T) и DICC (T)-R may be estimated to about $10 at mass manufacturing.

Advantages of technology:

1. Abandonment of mechanics reduces the cost.

2. Abandonment of mechanics reduces power consumption.

3. Abandonment of mechanics increases reliability.

4. Abandonment of expensive mono crystalline silicon and change to a low cost active medium . electrolyte.

5. A single layer topology reduces the cost of the level-to-level alignment technology

6. Compatibility with current DVD technologies.

7. Storage of information in the form of neat-resistant metal clusters allows to prolong the storage time and to increase the radiation resistance.

8. Large recording density (up to 50 Gbit /cm2) reduces the unit cost of a storage unit.

9. Small size: a plastic card replaces CD и DVD in case of large information content.

10. Reading speed is higher or comparable with the HDD operation speed due to the increased number of parallel reading channels.

11. Patentability of microionics and nanoionics.

Application fields: It is obvious, after instrumentation of DICC by cheap control units for TV and PC, DICC will immediately find wide application for duplicating video and software products, since they provide a silent and momentary (7 msec) access to any part of the information written on them after the CU power up, loading any selected software product into a PC operative memory directly from a card; screening a video on TV starting from any frame, screening on PC or TV of any page of a video book or any picture of video gallery; designing of stationary and portable audio player.

Additionally, all software products written on DICC are virus tolerant and and undistractable.

The area of DICC-R application is focused to recording information by an individual user. In future they should displace from the markets home audio and vdeo recording equipment by replacing CD-R, DVD-R and magnetic audio and videotapes. Cheap cards manufactured by means of 0.5 micron technology may completely displace audio CD and CD-R. More expensive cards produced on the base of 0.15 micron technology, are capable to replace DVD and DVD-R carriers and tape video recorders.

Prototype: breadboard models of charge reading amplifiers. Calculations and designs of manufacturing memory prototypes by micron and nanometer technologies.

Possible cooperation forms

Sale of the license for manufacture and saling under the agreement.

The license contract will comprise: the base patents for IC-SS technology, super smooth substrate technology, substrate protection technology, the base patents for the control unit, patents for charge amplifiers.

For further information please contact us