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Competing interests The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Authors’ contributions WL designed the experiment and wrote the article. PL, YZ, and FM carried out the synthesis of TiN/SiN x and TiAlN/SiN x nanocomposite films. XL, XC, and DH assisted in the technical support for measurements (XRD, HRTEM, and nanoindention) as well as the data analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.”
“Review Background Semiconductor memory is an essential component of today’s electronic systems. It is used in any equipment that uses a processor such as computers, smart phones, tablets, digital cameras, entertainment PRKD3 devices, global positioning KPT-8602 clinical trial systems, automotive systems, etc. Memories constituted 20% of the semiconductor market for the last 30 years and are expected to increase in the coming years [1]. Generally, memory devices can be categorized as ‘volatile’ and ‘non-volatile’ based on their operational principles. A volatile memory cannot retain stored data without the external power whereas a non-volatile memory (NVM) is the one which can retain the stored information irrespective of the external power. Static random access memory and dynamic random access memory (DRAM) fall into the volatile category, while ‘Flash’ which is the short form of ‘flash electrically erasable programmable read-only memory’ is the dominant commercial NVM technology.

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