POSTECH News

Improving your memory

2009-08-24 1,112

Revolutionary plastic memory devices developed

Recent increases in demand for mobile devices have stimulated the development of nonvolatile memory devices with high performance. These nonvolatile memory devices are unpowered computer memory devices such as USB flash drives. However, with recent developments will soon see foldable electronic newspapers, books, magazines, and even wearable computers.

Professor Moonhor Ree (Department of Chemistry) and Professor Ohyun Kim (Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering) research team, in their paper entitled, “Novel Digital Nonvolatile Memory Devices Based on Semiconducting Polymer Thin Films” published in Advanced Functional Materials, described the development of low-cost, high-performance, digital nonvolatile memory devices based on semiconducting polymers. They also reported their memory devices are switchable in a very low voltage range with a very high ON/OFF current ratio. The low critical voltages have the advantage for nonvolatile memory device applications of low operation voltages and hence low power consumption.

Until now, all nonvolatile memories are fabricated with inorganic materials that are used in complementary metal-oxide semiconductor processes, and are based on charge storage. Their disadvantages of slow programming, limited endurance, and high voltage requirements have prompted the research team into investigation of organic and polymer materials which exhibit easier processability, flexibility, high mechanical strength, and scalability at low cost. However due to high ON/OFF voltages, development of polymer based nonvolatile memory devices have remained work in progress, until now.

“The high ON/OFF switching ratio and stability of these devices, as well as their repeatable writing, reading and erasing capability with low power consumption, opens up a possibility of mass production of high performance digital nonvolatile polymer memory devices with low cost,” Professor Ree said, adding it would revolutionize microelectronics by providing extremely inexpensive, lightweight, and versatile components that can be printed onto plastics, glasses or metal foils.

The research was supported by the Korea Science & Engineering Foundation, Samsung Electronics, and the Korean Ministry of Education.

Professor Moonhor Ree
Department of Chemistry
Email: ree@postech.ac.kr
Phone: +82-54-279-2120

Professor Ohyun Kim
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Email: ohkim@postech.ac.kr
Phone: +82-54-279-2215