“Extraordinary achievement” for Lancaster physicists


Scientific Reports

A research paper by Lancaster physicists was the second most downloaded physics paper out of over a thousand published by Scientific Reports in 2019.

It was also the 41st most downloaded paper out of all 19,871 papers published last year covering a range of disciplines, not only physics.

The Chief Editor congratulated Professor Manus Hayne and his team for their “extraordinary achievement”.

Dr Richard White, Chief Editor for Scientific Reports, Nature Research, said: “Scientific Reports published more than 1,072 physics papers in 2019, and so a position in the top 100 most downloaded articles is an extraordinary achievement – your science is of real value to the research community.”

The research article entitled Room-temperature Operation of Low-voltage, Non-volatile, Compound-semiconductor Memory Cells received 21,133 article downloads in 2019, making it the second most downloaded physics paper in Scientific Reports last year.

The electronic device is the realisation of the search for a “Universal Memory” which has preoccupied scientists and engineers for decades. 

A second paper, published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, provides further insight into the operation of the memory cell and how they can be connected together to make a working random access memory (RAM).

Lancaster’s patented ULTRARAM™ could replace the $100bn market for dynamic random access memory (DRAM), the ‘working memory’ of computers, with an equally fast but more efficient and non-volatile alternative.

This would transform computer architecture and help solve the digital energy crisis.

There has been on-going global media attention in the research, including an interview with the BBC World Service’s Digital Planet with millions of listeners globally, and an up-coming piece in the April 2nd edition of PC Gamer magazine.

This has helped stimulate commercial interest in the memory, expanding the team of researchers working on bringing it from prototype to production. 

The research is funded by EPSRC through an Impact Acceleration Account (EP/R511560/1), the Future Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing Hub (EP/P006973/1) and EP/N509504/1. It is also supported by the Joy Welch Educational Charitable Trust, IQE plc and the EC ATTRACT project (Grant Agreement 777222). 

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