While the gang at Toshiba are still trying to bring FeRAM to the masses, a team of researchers at Cornell University have devised a new ferroelectric material composed of silicon and strontium titanate that they say can be used (someday!) to build "instant on" transistors. And you know what that means -- instant on computers for students, and instant on death rays for future robot armies. To coax the generally mild-mannered strontium titanate into acting "ferro-electrified" (not an actual scientific term), researchers grew it onto a silicon substrate using a process known as epitaxy. The material literally squeezed itself within the spaces of the silicon molecules, which gave it ferroelectric properties. As you may have guessed, this research was partially funded by the Office of Naval Research -- so the "death ray" remark may not be so off base, after all. We'll keep an eye out.

[Via Daily Tech]

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New silicon film ferroelectric may pave the way for instant-on computers (or maybe not)