Not just energy but also memory
Such digital quantum batteries, even when requiring arrays of billions of tubes, have a number of practical advantages. They could be built using conventional lithographic techniques using wafer fab friendly metal materials within a conventional silicon substrate and using silicon dioxide for the insulating side walls of the tubes. Carbon nanotubes are proposed for the anode material and tungsten for the cathodes. In addition such batteries could easily be included within integrated circuit substrates as an on-chip rechargeable battery.
The arrangement has other advantages. The charge, discharge rates of such nanotubes should exceed all other devices, the authors calculate, but at the same time vacuum nanotubes should be able to retain electrical energy without losses for many years, giving rise to the possibility of configuring the nanotube as a nonvolatile memory device.
The electric field in a nanovacuum tube can be sensed with a MOSFETs built in to the silicon dioxide insulating walls. The arrangement would not be dissimilar to a capacitor-based dynamic RAM but would be able to dispense with refresh cycles. Thus random access arrays of nanovacuum tubes with an energy gate, to charge the tube, and an information gate attached to the MOSFET, to sense the electric field in the tube, can be used to store both energy and information, the authors assert.
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The complete paper could be found here when this story was first posted.
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