Friday, June 2, 2023

The Meminductor: A New Circuit Element

By Nidhi Agarwal

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Researchers at Texas A&M University have discovered a novel circuit element referred to as a meminductor that led to a significant breakthrough in circuit elements.

The research team published their new circuit element discovery in the February issue of the journal Scientific Reports.
The research team published their new circuit element discovery in the February issue of the journal Scientific Reports.

In an electrical circuit, circuit elements play a crucial role in managing the flow of electricity. The resistor, capacitor, and inductor are the traditional circuit elements, while the memristor and memcapacitor are the more recent additions discovered in the past 15 years. These newer components, known as “mem-” versions of the classical elements, have different voltage and current characteristics that are influenced by previous voltage or current values over time, giving them memory-like properties.

Dr. H. Rusty Harris, an Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, has made a significant breakthrough in circuit elements with the discovery of a new component called the meminductor.

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The traditional understanding in the field of circuit elements was limited to the existence of only three elements. Still, this notion has been challenged by the discovery of two additional elements. The possibility of the existence of additional circuit elements prompted researchers to conduct investigations and analyze their potential relationships with the pre-existing elements. The team of researchers have discovered a connection between the resistors and capacitors and their respective families. This finding sheds light on how these circuit components are interrelated and can inform future research.

Researchers have developed a two-terminal passive system. This system was mainly composed of an electromagnet that interacted with a pair of permanent magnets. Its purpose was to investigate the inductor circuit element’s magnetic flux density and magnetizing field strength. By using this device, Harris demonstrated the presence of a pinched hysteresis curve in the inductor. This pinched hysteresis curve led to the inductor’s mem-state, which exhibited a memory-like behavior. Therefore, the inductor was comparable to the memristor and memcapacitor in terms of its characteristics.

Empirical evidence obtained through physical experiments and observations has confirmed the existence of meminductance. “New discovery is very exciting,” Harris said.

Reference: “Physical evidence of meminductance in a passive, two-terminal circuit element” by Abhiram Dinavahi, Alexandre Yamamoto, and H. Rusty Harris, 1 February 2023, Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-24914-y

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