New Material that Can Store Digital Information and Be Printed onto Various Surfaces Could Revolutionise Printable Electronics

UNSW scientists have developed nanoscale ceramic cubes that can store data and be printed in a transparent solution onto a range of surfaces, providing memory for next-generation printable electronics.

Transparent ‘memory ink’ could have applications for printable electronics

A new material developed at UNSW that can store digital information and be printed onto various surfaces, could be used for memory cells in next-generation, large-scale printable electronics.

The material, made from the rare earth mineral cerium oxide, is comprised of tiny cubes that are roughly 10 nanometres thick, or about 10,000 times smaller than the thickness of a sheet of paper.

When placed in a solution and deposited onto a conductive surface via ink-jet printer, the cubes self-assemble: first they form a coordinated square array, then they stack on top of each other like Lego, building up layer by layer.

This is a next-generation memory technology that requires less voltage, consumes less power and can write/erase information faster than conventional memory devices.

Conceptually, more than two trillion cubes could fit in a memory cell configuration the size of a standard postage stamp, says Professor Sean Li from the UNSW School of Materials Science and Engineering.

Digital information (a series of ones and zeroes) is encoded and stored on the nanocube memory cells by applying an electrical current, which changes the cell between a resistive and conductive state.

Professor Li, who led the team developing the new material with UNSW colleagues Dr Adnan Younis and Dr Dewei Chu, says the nanocubes have unique physical properties for microelectronics, and could be used for resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices.Read more

Source: UNSW Australia