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Driscoll Research Group

 

We have two main research themes. One is the investigation of oxide materials for new, energy-efficient computer memory, and the other is about storage, generation, and transmission of energy.

We are at the beginning of a Data Age. There is a wide range of rapidly growing data centric technologies spanning Big Data, the Internet of Things, transport, medicine, electric vehicles, security, entertainment, and neuromorphic computing for Artificial Intelligence. In most of these areas, memory energy dominates over compute energy and low power non-volatile memory (NVM) is urgently needed. Also, neural-network-based deep learning embedded in edge computing devices could provide the solution to the high computing efficiencies. Our approach to finding a more energy-efficient technology to handle data in a better way is focused on implementing memory devices in switching oxide films.

But a sustainable planet does not only require less use of energy. While our aim in Theme 1 is Energy-Efficient Information and Communications Technology, i.e. in the use part of energy, we also need to consider greener energy generation, transmission and storage. There are strong links and cross-cutting themes between themes 1 and 2. For example, controlling the electrochemical processes in oxide resistive memory is relevant to thin film batteries and micro solid oxide fuel cells. Oxide thin film materials are the key enabling platform for all the studies.

Research Theme 1

Figure 1. Data centre, with image of film (courtesy of Haiyan Wang and group, Univ. Purdue) used
for creating new low power non-volatile memory device and the switching of its resistance states
from high resistance state (HRS) and low resistance state (LRS).
(Plot courtesy of Chao Yun, Driscoll group.)