Flexible flash memory — another step towards bendable smartphones

Today, more and more manufacturers produce smartphones with curved display, and the next innovation can be flexible gadgets. So they do not look like the existing nondescript prototypes, the bend must not only display, but also the entire body inside. Researchers at Exeter University bring future — they have developed flash memory based on graphene that can withstand repeated flexing without deterioration of characteristics or damage.

Гибкая флеш-память — еще один шаг к сгибаемым смартфонам

Today, more and more manufacturers produce smartphones with curved display, and the next innovation can be flexible gadgets. So they do not look like the existing nondescript prototypes, the bend must not only display, but also the entire body inside. Researchers at Exeter University bring future — they have developed flash memory based on graphene that can withstand repeated flexing without deterioration of characteristics or damage.

How they did it?

Graphene has high strength, flexibility and ability to conduct electricity, but its production is too complicated and expensive for commercial use. In the result, the researchers decided to use graphene oxide on a substrate of pure titanium, which oxidizes in the interaction with oxygen atoms. The new method allows you to create a structure length of 50 nanometers and a thickness of 8 nanometers, which can be read and written using electric pulses with duration of not more than 5 nanoseconds — the best indicator among peers based on graphene oxide.

New memory cells can be placed on a flexible substrate. As shown by the first tests, when the bending radius 9 mm chip continued to work after 5000 cycles (next the researchers just haven’t checked).

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When will there be a future?

Some companies already produce a bendable battery, the other preparing to begin production in the near future. Modern OLED displays can collapse into a tube, but flexible flash memory while tested only in research laboratories. Because the technology did not yet allow to implement the boldest ideas of designers, at first the market will be a foldable device in which the body is bent only in one or two places. On a prototype of such gadgets are already working with Samsung and some Chinese companies, but the final product we see is not until 2018 or 2019.

Source: ACSPublications

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