'A sustainable future of data storage lies within nanoscale memory devices.'
“I did my Bachelor’s in Electronics and Communication Engineering at the B.N.M. Institute of Technology in Bangalore, India. It is quite common to just take up a job in software or programming afterwards as many of my fellow students did. But I was not interested in following the crowd. I wanted to start something new and futuristic.
Also, I realised that software does not interest me that much. I’m drawn much more to the hardware of electronic devices. My Bachelor’s was focused on learning about existing devices and what you can do with them. But I wanted to manufacture something new. I wanted to invent it myself and help the industry move forward. I figured that nanotechnology plays a big part in this, so I decided to go to the University of Twente to study the Master’s in Nanotechnology.
A big leap
It was quite a big leap. Not only did I move to a new country, but I also found myself in research fields that I was not familiar with. For example, I never studied physics, but in one year I learnt more about physics than I did my entire life. I think this multidisciplinarity is one of the big benefits of this Master’s. Because in the end, if you look at a product, there are a lot of phenomena that govern the product from the lab to the market. It’s not just electronics or just physics. Having multidisciplinary knowledge makes you aware of those different phenomena and that way, when you become an entrepreneur, for instance, you won’t get fooled by other experts, because you know your stuff as well.
What I love about Nanotechnology as well, is that it has so many different and sometimes unexplored application areas. I would say that, also because of my background in electrical engineering, I’m most interested in the semiconductor industry. My Master’s assignment is about memory resistors – called memristors – which can be used as a memory device. They can hold more data on smaller surfaces than the usual hardware.
Improving sustainability with nanoscale memory devices
You could say that the future lies within these memristors because they are more sustainable as well. Take for example the data storage of companies like Facebook or Google. People often don’t realise that that data has to be somewhere – they think that it is in the ‘cloud’, literally some intangible place around us. But these data storage units are in fact huge, maybe even bigger than the Netherlands. And they also produce so much heat. Using these nanoscale memory devices can save space and produce less heat, making it more sustainable.
I am dedicated to becoming an entrepreneur after my Master’s in Nanotechnology, hopefully in the tech industry. I’m still contemplating how to get there because of course, I need some experience in the industry. A PhD might be an attractive option as well. This way I can further research and develop the memristors and maybe start up a company in this specific field. We’ll see what the future holds!”