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Investigation of novel memory effect in anti-ferroelectric materials

Project: Research


This research project commenced in February 2016 following Dr Vopson's idea of utilizing anti-ferroelectric materials for non - volatile memories. The project involved international collaborations with academics from the USA and resulted in remarkably successful outcome.

Layman's description

RAM is a key component in computers and consumer electronics and, depending on the technology used, RAM could be volatile or non-volatile. Volatile RAM means that computer chips store information as long as electric power is supplied to them. Once power is turned off, the information is lost. Usually the information is copied onto a non-volatile secondary data storage memory device. Alternative non-volatile memory RAM technologies are under development including resistive (RRAM) and magneto-resistive (MRAM) memory technology. However, these have a number of disadvantages including low memory capacity, high power consumption and reduced endurance.
Scientists at the University of Portsmouth and Iowa State University have recently demonstrated a novel non-volatile RAM technology based on anti-ferroelectric materials. Their proposed memory chip has been termed anti-ferroelectric random access memory (AFRAM).

Key findings

1) Anti-ferroelectric crystals can store information.
2) Anti-ferroelectric materials can be used for non-volatile memory devices.
3) Such devices first proposed an demonstrated at the University of Portsmouth are superior to existing technologies and can potentially double the memory capacity of ferroelectric RAM chips by implementing the newly proposed anti-ferroelectric RAM chip.
Effective start/end date1/02/16 → …

Collaborative partners

  • Iowa State University
  • Central Michigan University



  • Diamond Light Source

Award relations

In-situ synchrotron studies of anti-ferroelectric materials for digital data storage

Dr Melvin Vopson, Tang, C. C. & Thompson, S. P.

Diamond Light Source: £38,376.00


Award date: 14/12/17

Funding: R: Research, R: In Kind FacilitiesAward


ID: 4927173