Memory can be defined as the ability to store the state of a system at a given time, and access such information, or part of it, at some later time. This state could be the spin polarization, or the doping profile, or some other physical characteristic of the system. Ultimately, however, the physical origin of memory can be traced back to the dynamical properties of the constituents of condensed matter, such as electrons and ions. Irrespective, it turns out that essentially all memory materials and systems show resistive, capacitive, and/or inductive properties that are hysteretic when subject to time-dependent perturbations.
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Materials Today (2011) 14(12), 584-591