Non-volatile memories, RF switches, and neuromorphic devices based on vertical thin-film TMD and h-BN structures

Physical Sciences : Materials and Compounds

Available for licensing


  • Deji Akinwande, Ph.D. , Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Xiaohan Wu
  • Ruijing Ge, B.S.
  • Jack Lee, Ph.D. , Electrical and Computer Engineering

Background/unmet need

Currently, electric devices have generally been made as small as possible in their device sizes, and certain individual devices are approaching the smallest size limits practicable. In the case of, for example, complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) devices, which are broadly used memory devices, the minimum channel length that may be designed to permit their functions is around 6 nm. Thus, to create smaller and more advanced devices, it is important to find solutions to resolve the discrepancy between limited channel length and computing needs.

Invention Description

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin developed a vertical metal-insulator-metal (MIM) devices using monolayer or transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) and hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) as the active layer are invented for efficient non-volatile memories, neuromorphic devices, and RF switches applications.


  • By using monolayer TMD or h-BN as the active layer in vertical MIM structure, the scale of the device can be greatly reduced, further increasing the integration density.
  • The device can operate in both unipolar and bipolar switching, with a high on/off ratio, enabling multi-bit storage in single device and RF switch application.
  • Low-voltage operation is demonstrated using the new device, which helps to reduce power consumption.
  • CVD technique provides large-scale monolayer TMD and h-BN continuous film, which facilitate practical implementation into CMOS technology.


  • Repeatable non-volatile switching with low operating voltage, high on/off ratio, low ON resistance and good reliability is demonstrated in this simple scalable vertical device structure, working in both unipolar and bipolar operation (voltage sweep in the same/opposite direction).
  • The device does not require a forming process and can work at room temperature under ambient condition.

Market potential/applications

Semiconductor industry 

Development Stage

Proof of concept